Microsoft has become somewhat preoccupied of late with Windows XP – a near 20-year-old operating system. It does not ‘officially’ update this version of Windows. However, the National Security Agency (NSA) has now warned Microsoft Windows XP users to manually update systems to guard against serious cyber attack criminality thanks to a newly discovered fault.
“The National Security Agency is urging Microsoft Windows administrators and users to ensure they are using a patched and updated system in the face of growing threats. Recent warnings by Microsoft stressed the importance of installing patches to address a protocol vulnerability in older versions of Windows. Microsoft has warned that this flaw is potentially ‘wormable,’ meaning it could spread without user interaction across the internet. We have seen devastating computer worms inflict damage on unpatched systems with wide-ranging impact, and are seeking to motivate increased protections against this flaw.
CVE-2019-0708, dubbed ‘BlueKeep,’ is a vulnerability in the Remote Desktop (RDP) protocol. It is present in Windows 7, Windows XP, Server 2003 and 2008, and although Microsoft has issued a patch, potentially millions of machines are still vulnerable.
This is the type of vulnerability that malicious cyber actors frequently exploit through the use of software code that specifically targets the vulnerability. For example, the vulnerability could be exploited to conduct denial of service attacks. It is likely only a matter of time before remote exploitation code is widely available for this vulnerability. NSA is concerned that malicious cyber actors will use the vulnerability in ransomware and exploit kits containing other known exploits, increasing capabilities against other unpatched systems.”