It would appear that despite having pulled the official plug on Windows XP, Microsoft is still rolling out some support for the platform. The company has rolled out a patch to fix the critical Internet Explorer bug revealed recently, and the patch has been offered for Windows XP as well.
The bug in question raised alarms all over the world because it affected every single version of Internet Explorer. Typically, Microsoft takes some time to release a security patch for a whole set of vulnerabilities. But in the case of this IE bug, the company has gone out of its way to release a patch on somewhat urgent basis.
The problem with this zero-day vulnerability is that it essentially allows any hacker to install a malware on your machine. And from there onwards, the attacker can gain access to all kinds of data on your machine. According to the security firm FireEye which discovered the vulnerability, it was being exploited to break into the systems of financial and defense institutions.
Commenting on the release of the patch, Microsoft’s Dustin Childs wrote, “The majority of customers have automatic updates enabled and will not need to take any action because protections will be downloaded and installed automatically.” He also confirmed that Windows XP users got lucky this time, “We have made the decision to issue a security update for Windows XP users”, further stating that users should switch away from Windows XP as soon as possible.
In order to get the latest security patch from Microsoft and have that gaping vulnerability fixed in your Internet Explorer, you need to turn on the Automatic Updates feature on your Windows machine.