US officials and Microsoft executives have released an advisory that highlights a known flaw in versions of the Windows OS.
“All customers on affected operating systems [Windows 7 and earlier] should update as soon as possible,” said Microsoft.
A flaw known as “BlueKeep” potentially leaves these systems open for infection by viruses. US officials warn that these viruses are often downloaded unknowingly via malicious file attachments. Once opened, the ransomware installs quickly, locking files until payment is sent to the cyber criminal behind the attack.
Microsoft executives stated there has been no sign of a new cyber-attack and that updating systems will protect users from threats. They also emphasized that keeping “internal systems updated with the latest fixes” is a critical step to protect against malware.
This news comes as Microsoft begins preparations to wind down their support for the Windows 7 OS, effectively pushing clients to upgrade to a newer OS to remain in compliance with current industry standards.
We recommend discussing the Windows 7 transition with your IT managed service provider. If you are running Windows 7, be sure to update your OS to the latest version and consider upgrading to Windows 10 in the next few months.
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