WannaCry was weaponized when hacking tools leaked from the National Security Agency became public in April. Rather than issue fixes, the company encouraged those on older platforms to upgrade to newer versions of Windows.
The recent WannaCry ransomware epidemic hit over 300,000 PCs in 150 countries around the globe, using worm-like capabilities to spread between unpatched Windows machines over the internet.
"There's a risk that in trying to help by patching, they're encouraging bad behavior", Goettl said, of potential distrust of Microsoft's once-rock solid support stance.
Adrienne Hall, Microsoft's General Manager of the Cyber Defense Operations Center, cited in Microsoft's blog that there is an "elevated risk of cyberattacks" by government and other copycat organizations. So are we seeing this new precedence that Microsoft will patch any and all security threats to all versions of Windows that are in use or will this all end with the latest updates this month? But you can bet EnglishmanDentist, EsteemAudit and ExplodingCan exploits are in the works.
It's a long time since there was a Patch Tuesday for XP and 2003, so dust off your old notes, remind yourself how to do it, and get busy!
If you have automatic updates enabled and you're running a version of Windows Microsoft still supports, you don't need to do anything as Windows will download and install the updates automatically.
Therefore, the vulnerabilities Microsoft is looking to patch don't just affect old, now unsupported OSes.
Based on Insider feedback, we have changed "Phone Update" to "Windows Update" under Settings Update & security.
The decision to offer updates for unsupported software "should not be viewed as a departure from our standard services policies", Eric Doerr, general manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center, said in a separate post on Microsoft's TechNet site. "This is a double-edged sword", he said of Microsoft's XP patch releases. This is defending the systems from any more attacks like Ransomware. Unsupported Windows versions played very little role.
Since 2014, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP but offered an option for a paid ongoing support and it wasn't cheap.
Microsoft also used the malware as an opportunity to plug for Microsoft Edge, its semifunctional non-browser that's good for maximizing battery life and not much else.
The percentage of computers - and the version of Windows operating systems they used - seen over a four-month period in 2017.