Microsoft has taken the rare step of issuing a patch for a retired operating system in an attempt to stop any further spread of the ransomware attack that began to appear on computers worldwide last week.
Windows XP is thought to be still in use on around seven per cent of the world’s PC’s even though Microsoft ended support for the product in 2014. This includes the National Health Service in the UK where they have admitted many machines still run on XP. The virus spread to as many as 150 countries worldwide. The latest Microsoft patch also covers other old versions of the MS system including Windows 8.
Microsoft president Brad Smith refused to apologise for the vulnerabilities exploited within its system but instead aimed his fire at bodies such as the US National Security Agency who he accused of hoarding potential flaws and keeping them secret. It’s believed the malware was developed after a leak of NSA files exposed the flaw last month.
Smith said: "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call. They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits."
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