Windows 10 users should ensure that their devices are fully updated with the latest patches from Microsoft. The Redmond-based company has just released a series of upgrades that fix numerous bugs, some of which have been rated as serious enough to be rated “critical”.
Perhaps the most dangerous of them all is a threat that is actively exploited by cyber criminals. Microsoft has confirmed that attackers have found a vulnerability in something called Windows Update Medic.
This is a relatively new addition to Windows 10, made to run in the background and repair Windows Update components from damage. This means that a computer can receive important updates at any time.
On its status page, Microsoft says that an exploitation of this vulnerability has been discovered and is being used by hackers in the wild, although it is unclear how many Windows users have been affected so far.
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This new patch contains fixes for three zero-day vulnerabilities and a total of 44 bugs, so it’s definitely worth checking your PC.
Aaron Drapkin, ProPrivacy’s digital privacy expert, said of the release, “It’s comforting to see Microsoft’s immediate response and fixing 44 vulnerabilities that exposed customers to a world of peril before their updates were released.
“One vulnerability that is being exploited is CVE-2021-36948 – which relates to a new service called Windows Update Medic. This is usually referred to as the ‘privilege escalation vulnerability’ as it allows the hacker to ultimately take control of entire user accounts and make sure they are not tracked along the way.
If you are a Windows user, I recommend downloading all available updates ASAP. Even if Windows fixes a problem, unless you install the updates they release, your software will have all the pre-patch vulnerabilities.
“Just make sure to back up or copy all of your important information first – it’s unlikely, but Windows updates have a reputation for randomly causing problems and some users have trouble booting after the update.”