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The Bluekeep Vulnerability – A Serious Threat

The Bluekeep Vulnerability is a serious gap in security for Users of XP, Windows 7, and the corresponding Servers 2003 and 2008. It’s serious because it could be used to spread viruses without any help from Users – if your computer or server is not patched and is attacked via this route there is nothing that you could do or not do to prevent it from doing potentially massive damage and then spreading to other computers. Microsoft initially discovered and then patched the Bluekeep Vulnerability way back in 2014 but for whatever reason, there are still nearly a million machines worldwide which have not been patched. The situation is so serious that the US National Security Agency has issued a warning urging Users to install the patch ASAP. Microsoft has been doing so itself of course over the past five years but there are still enough machines outstanding to represent a serious threat. This is exacerbated by the fact that servers are also at risk, and the impact of attacks on servers are arguably more serious than attacks on personal computers.

I’ve been talking quite a lot this year about the end of Windows 7. In January 2020, Microsoft will cease support of Windows 7 (XP became unsupported in 2014). This means that no new security patches or other updates will be produced from then on, resulting in a kind of Windows Roulette situation, where each new threat increases the danger to your computer and your online security. So our advice, if you are still using Windows 7 (or XP) would be to upgrade to Windows 10. But if you decide to continue to use Windows 7 or XP for now, please check that you have completed the update to patch the Bluekeep Vulnerability (see below). If you are running a server with Server 2003 or 2008 operating systems, please contact us to check it for you – it’s quite important.

 

How to Check for the Update

Type ‘Updates’ into the search box on your toolbar. Click on View Update History. The update you’re looking for will be one from this list provided by Borncity.com:

Windows XP: KB4500331
Windows Server 2003 SP2: KB4500331
Windows Vista: KB4499149 or KB4499180
Windows Server 2008 SP1: KB4499149 or KB4499180
Windows 7 SP1: KB4499164 or KB4499175
Windows Server 2008 R2: KB4499164 or KB4499175

You can also search for the appropriate update in the search bar of your Update History if there are many to look through.

 

Anti-Virus Software

In addition to having up-to-date patches we always recommend using good anti-virus software. And as with most things in life, you get what you pay for – there is free software available but it will be less effective and more annoying. We provide an anti-virus program for our customers call ESET which does a great job for a reasonable price, without clogging up your computer. The beauty of having us manage this for you is that you don’t need to sign up with your credit card until the end of time as some programs will request. We send out an email every year asking whether you would like to renew, renew it remotely on confirmation, and then email an invoice.

 

Please contact us for assistance in checking whether you’re protected from the Bluekeep Vulnerability

admin@greenmouse.co.nz ~ 07 827 7119