Microsoft recently put up security updates that are still in response to the massive WannaCry ransomware attack, which the company considers as an "all too real example of danger.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Microsoft said they had reviewed the updates published for this month and discovered "some vulnerabilities" that may heighten the "risk of cyber attacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors or other copycat organizations."
With that, the Redmond, Washington technology firm added several critical security updates on top of their regular Update Tuesday service.
As Microsoft emphasized in the same blog post, the said security updates "are being made available to all customers." And by "all," Microsoft meant including the much older versions of the Windows operating system.
It can be recalled that some cyber security experts criticized Microsoft in the light of the massive WannaCry attack as the company purportedly did not include free security updates for earlier versions of the Windows operating system.
As mentioned in earlier reports, experts called out Microsoft's alleged policy of charging annual fees before providing security updates to customers who were still using older versions of the Windows OS.
Meanwhile, it sounds like Microsoft is trying to change some of those rules as it said: "Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber attacks at this time, we made the decision to take this action because applying these updates provides further protection against potential attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCrypt."
Microsoft reminded its customers that those who are using Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 do not need to do anything since these systems have the automatic Windows Update enabled.
As for other users, Microsoft encouraged them to check which version of Windows they are using and then proceed to see if the Windows Update option is enabled or not. The technology firm has also released guidelines for several Windows versions.
For those who are using Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 RT, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 10, or Windows Server 2016, they can find the guidelines here and look for the corresponding link where they can initiate the download of security updates.
Meanwhile, customers with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2003 R2 can find their guidelines here.
Ultimately, however, Microsoft continues to encourage people to get the latest versions of Windows OS where extended support remains available and calls this step as the "best protection." "Older systems, even if fully up-to-date, lack the latest security features and advancements," they added.