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By WSJ City
Microsoft took the unusual step of warning that a computer bug it has now patched could be used by a cyber weapon similar to the WannaCry worm, which spread across the globe two years ago.
It affects Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 as well as Windows 2003 and Windows XP--older versions of Windows that Microsoft doesn't typically patch. Users of Windows 10 and Windows 8 aren't affected by the flaw.
--- It's one of several high-profile computer-security issues to emerge this week.
--- The impact isn't yet clear.Microsoft said that it believes it is "highly likely" the flaw will wind up being exploited by malicious software.
--- Microsoft said the best way for companies to protect themselves is to upgrade to newer versions of its software.
--- For WannaCry, Microsoft issued a patch months before the ransomware was a problem...
--- ...but it spread quickly and infected more than 200,000 systems world-wide.
Why This Matters
Microsoft's bug came a day after Facebook patched WhatsApp following the company's disclosure it had been used to install spyware on mobile phones by using a bug in the voice-calling feature. Intel also disclosed issues in its microprocessors that could allow hackers to gain unauthorised access to data stored in a computer's memory. The new bugs are similar to last year's Spectre and Meltdown flaws, but are hard to exploit and unlikely to cause the kind of widespread havoc of a computer worm, security researchers said.
A fuller story is available on WSJ.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 16, 2019 01:27 ET (05:27 GMT)
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