Windows 10 has a nasty bug that might affect people working from home
A bug in Windows is allowing hackers to attack computer users, Microsoft has said. The company is aware of the bug but is yet to patch it. It said that attackers are exploiting the bug, but did not say who they were or how prevalent it is. Microsoft said that it is working on a fix for the problem, but suggested that it may not be out until next month at the earliest.
But it did say that the threat is low in Windows 10 because Microsoft had added protections in that version of the operating system. It was not aware of any attacks on people running that latest version of the software, it said, and recommended that users upgrade if they can.
The bug has been classified as “critical” – the highest-possible level of alert – by Microsoft, which also sent out advice to computers users to try and keep them safe. It seizes on a problem with the Adobe Type Manager Library, which collects fonts together. Because of a specific problem with a particular font, the operating system could be taken over by hackers, Microsoft warned.
The current glitch which is affecting the internet connectivity of some users and in some cases is keeping major apps from getting online, thereby making life very difficult for those people trying to use these applications to work from home under lockdown. The problem can affect those using Windows 10 May 2019 Update, or November 2019 Update, and is caused by Microsoft’s KB4535996 cumulative update (which is an optional update deployed late February). The bug may prevent Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams – and other software besides, including Microsoft’s web browsers – from connecting to the internet, with obvious issues therein for those working from home using these apps in these troubled times.
In terms of a fix, Microsoft is prioritizing this as you might imagine, rushing a patch out the door before the usual scheduled monthly release, and it should be available in early April we are told. Meantime, the more positive news is that there is a very easy potential workaround, and that’s simply to reboot your machine. This may or may not work, but at least it’s not a difficult thing to do.
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