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Business News/ Technology / News/  Microsoft users alert! Govt. warns against risk in Windows, Office, Bing and Outlook: How to protect your device

Microsoft users alert! Govt. warns against risk in Windows, Office, Bing and Outlook: How to protect your device

CERT-In warns of high-risk vulnerabilities in Microsoft products, affecting Windows, Office, Azure, Bing, and more. Attackers could exploit these to gain control, steal data, or disrupt services. Users urged to update systems promptly for protection.

For representation purposes only.Premium
For representation purposes only.

CERT-In, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, has raised a significant warning regarding the safety of users utilizing various Microsoft services. This caution comes after the discovery of multiple weaknesses in Microsoft products, with the agency assigning a high severity rating to the issue. 

As per the government body, the vulnerabilities have been identified across a range of Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Windows, Azure services, Microsoft Office, Bing,  Microsoft Dynamics, System Center and Exchange Server.

Among these, Microsoft Exchange Server, a tool integral to business collaboration, has been found vulnerable. The vulnerabilities discovered by CERT-In encompass a variety of potential exploits, including the ability for attackers to gain elevated privileges, obtain confidential information, bypass security measures, execute remote code attacks, initiate spoofing attacks, or cause denial of service disruptions.

Of particular concern are the vulnerabilities affecting Windows OS, with CERT-In identifying numerous affected versions, including various iterations of Windows 10 and Windows 11. These vulnerabilities could potentially allow unauthorized access to a user's device, enabling attackers to assume control or remotely steal sensitive information.

According to CERT-In's findings, these vulnerabilities arise due to inadequacies in the protection mechanisms of the affected software. Notably, the SmartScreen feature, designed to safeguard devices against malware, has been identified as inadvertently facilitating malware infiltration. This means that attackers could exploit these security gaps by sending specially crafted requests, potentially compromising the security of affected systems.

To mitigate the risks posed by these vulnerabilities, CERT-In recommends that users ensure their devices are regularly updated with the latest patches and security updates. Timely installation of updates is crucial to addressing known vulnerabilities and safeguarding against potential exploits.

The vulnerabilities identified by CERT-In pose a significant threat to users of various Microsoft products and services. With the potential for attackers to exploit these weaknesses to gain unauthorized access or compromise system integrity, it is imperative for users to remain vigilant and proactive in applying necessary security measures, such as keeping their software up-to-date.



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Published: 15 Apr 2024, 09:28 PM IST
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