MS flaw highlights e-security laziness

In an unprecedented move, the US Department of Homeland Security has issued a second warning over a Windows flaw that leaves computers vulnerable to attack. The newly formed US federal government department said in its warning that a critical flaw in certain versions of the Windows operating system, if left unpatched, could leave computers open to dangerous cyber-attacks, some of which have the potential to allow the attacker to take control of a vulnerable system.

The warning comes two weeks after Microsoft issued its own bulletin notifying computer users of the problem and about a week after the Department of Homeland Security issued its first warning urging people and companies to fix their systems. Essentially, the bug can allow malicious attackers to seize control of users' machines to steal files, read e-mails and launch wide-scale attacks that could damage the Internet as a whole. Microsoft has issued patches on its Web site to let administrators repair systems, but analysts have said that there is still a large proportion of computers plugged in to the Net that remain susceptible to attack.

This is said to be partly because Microsoft issues patches so frequently that they are increasingly being ignored. Last year the software giant issued about 70 patches, and about 30 have been made available this year.

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News source: The Reg

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