29 June, 2017
Microsoft's June 2017 Patch Tuesday targeted 94 vulnerabilities, and for the second straight month included Windows XP fixes and patches for other unsupported systems in order to remediate flaws that could be exploited by leaked NSA cyberweapons.
"To address this risk, today we are providing additional security updates along with our regular Update Tuesday service". The importance of this latest security update can be assessed by its availability to all customers, including those running older versions of Windows such as Windows XP and Vista. When WannaCry surfaced Microsoft took "the highly unusual step" of releasing patches for unsupported versions of Windows.
Following last month's global ransomware attack, Microsoft has grown extra cautious and thorough inspection of three remaining loopholes suggested they were still open to exploitation by state-sponsored actors (ones working for the government).
Typically, Microsoft only issues updates for its operating systems that are still supported - for consumers, that means Windows 7 and newer (with the exception of Windows 8, which is meant to be covered by the free upgrade to Windows 8.1). While that is certainly a possibility, I have always believed there will be those on Windows 7 that will not upgrade to Windows 10 no matter what, are you willing to put everything on the line to risk your personal information and possibly business/customer data on an outdated system?
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June's Patch Tuesday for Windows machines brought no less than 96 different patches for various vulnerabilities.
Microsoft said the security patches comes with the Tuesday update into the bargain. Some, not able to finish the job in time and unwilling (or unable) to expose unpatched systems to possible attacks, pay princely sums to Microsoft for after-retirement custom support.
So many users and organisations were still so stuck in the XP rut that Microsoft relented just a few weeks later, publishing yet another "goodbye, farewell and Amen" update for XP at the start of the next month. It mostly affected businesses and large organizations that used a Windows file-sharing tool. The occasional release of security patches does not equal a supported OS - not even close.
It would appear that May's security updates don't leave Microsoft entirely at ease, though.
In explaining its patches for older systems, Microsoft writes in a blog that the updates will "protect against potential nation-state activity".