Million Computers Still Vulnerable to Major Windows Security Exploit

Million Computers Still Vulnerable to Major Windows Security Exploit”

Earlier in May, Microsoft disclosed to its users that a serious security vulnerability - dubbed "BlueKeep" - was found on Windows 7 and other previous versions. A fix has been released and there has been no sign of a worm yet.

The bug has been classified as critical and can now affect systems running Windows XP, 7 and server. "If we look at the events leading up to the start of the WannaCry attacks, they serve to inform the risks of not applying fixes for this vulnerability in a timely manner".

Two weeks after warning about a critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft is concerned that around a million internet-connected computers remain unpatched and vulnerable to attack.

Microsoft also claimed that only Windows 8 and Windows 10 are not vulnerable to the bug. "We strongly advise that all affected systems should be updated as soon as possible", said Microsoft.

One month later, in May 2017, hundreds of thousands of exposed Windows machines were compromised using the EternalBlue exploit and subsequently infected with the WannaCry ransomware. Additional, Security firm GreyNoise Intelligence warned on May 24 that at least one threat actor is scanning networks looking for systems that are susceptible to BlueKeep. This demonstrates, however, that a determined attacker could take advantage of the vulnerability.

Another independent malware researcher Marcus Hutchins posted a tweet and claimed that it took him "an hour to figure out how to exploit the vulnerability" and four days to develop working exploit code, but he declined to immediately publish the code as he calls it "dangerous". Despite this, attackers could still abuse the RCE flaw if they already have the credentials needed to authenticate on a vulnerable system where RDS is enabled.

"It only takes one vulnerable computer connected to the internet to provide a potential gateway into these corporate networks, where advanced malware could spread, infecting computers across the enterprise", Microsoft said in the blog post. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

As part of the initial warning, Microsoft said that "the vulnerability is "wormable", and that future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017".

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