All is not lost for Windows XP users who are suffering from the critical IE 0-day bug. At first we thought the operating system was a lost cause due to Microsoft's announcement to no longer release security updates. However, the company has backtracked on its word and will be updating the OS to fix the issue.
No doubt this is great news, and many Windows XP users should be in a happy mood right now.
Microsoft released a fix for the 0-day issue at around 10am on Thursday morning. This should prevent attackers from installing malware onto computers running Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. A successful attack could have allowed hackers to take direct control of a person's computer or track what they are doing online.
Security firm FireEye was the first to come across 0-day few days ago and claimed the vulnerability could be exploited to target financial institutions through Internet Explorer. However, with the patch Microsoft has released, that issue should now be a thing of memory.
"The majority of customers have automatic updates enabled and will not need to take any action because protections will be downloaded and installed automatically," Dustin Childs of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, the company's security group, said in a blog post. "If you're unsure if you have automatic updates, or you haven't enabled Automatic Update, now is the time."
Unfortunately for some users, they had to check for updates manually despite having automatic update turned on.
The reason for Microsoft's decision to support IE 6 for Windows XP could mainly be due to the 26 percent of all PC users who still use the 12 year old platform. Not to mention thousands of businesses that can't afford to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
At the end of the day, users and business alike must make an effort to upgrade to the latest versions of Windows, or face serious issues going forward. Chances are; Microsoft won't ever look back at XP after today, and everyone need to be prepared for what is to come.
If users cannot afford to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then the best case scenario here, is to download a free Linux powered operating system until the funds are available for them to make the switch. They might even find love for Linux, if they try hard enough.