Microsoft regularly issues patches for the Windows 10 operating system but the most recent one may be more vital than usual.
The tech giant has warned that a bug in Windows 10 can be exploited by hackers who could break into a PC by tricking unknowing users into downloading a specially-crafted document.
This document, once executed, infects the Windows 10 front code and allows the attacker to hijack your computer.
‘For systems running Windows 10, an attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could execute code in an AppContainer sandbox context with limited privileges and capabilities,’ explained the team at Microsoft. ‘An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
‘There are multiple ways an attacker could exploit the vulnerability, such as convincing a user to open a specially crafted document or viewing it in the Windows Preview pane.’
Microsoft has deemed this bug ‘critical’ which means it has the highest rating of severity.
It gets worse because if your machine is sharing a home network with others, it’s possible for attackers to remotely access those as well. And considering Windows 10 has recently surpassed a billion active users, that’s a lot of potential targets.
How to install Windows 10 security updates
Microsoft released the fix as part of its Patch Tuesday monthly update this week. The update contains a fix for this security flaw as well as patches for over 100 smaller security niggles with the software.
In order to make sure you’ve got the update installed, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings on your PC or laptop
- Click on Update & Security
- Click on ‘Windows Update’ and then select ‘Check for Updates on your PC’
- The computer will now contact Microsoft and download the required update. You’ll need to restart your machine for it to take effect.
It goes without saying, but always be wary of attachments in emails or messages as well as hyperlinks that ask you to input personal details.
This is one of the most common ways of cybercriminals getting access to your machine and wreaking havoc on your digital life.
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