Microsoft releases new update citing concern over state-sponsored attacks

Microsoft releases new update citing concern over state-sponsored attacks
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Microsoft is releasing a new patch for Windows XP, a product it no longer formally supports, out of concern for state-sponsored cyberattacks.

It's an unusual move for the company to provide fixes to older operating systems, highlighting its concerns over cyberattacks. The company also released a patch for the operating system last month in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attacks, which targeted hospitals and other institutions.

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“In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyberattacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors, or other copycat organizations,” said Adrienne Hall, general manager of crisis management at Microsoft, about the new update.

“To address this risk, today we are providing additional security updates along with our regular Update Tuesday service. These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows.”

The company said that it would also release patches for Vista and all other operating systems, both supported and unsupported, because  of the “elevated risk” from the WannaCry attacks.

After the attacks, the company conducted a review that revealed several vulnerabilities.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will hold a hearing examining the WannaCry attacks, which happened last month and crippled the tech systems of Britain’s National Health Service before spreading to over 150 companies around the world.