Microsoft Patches 73 Windows Flaws

Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update that rolled out in February 2024 addresses no less than 73 security flaws, including two that are known to be actively exploited.

Of the 73 flaws, 3 are rated as moderate, 65 as important, and 5 as critical. The two flaws that are known to have been under attack at the time of the release of these patches include:

  • A Windows SmartScreen Bypass Vulnerability
  • An Internet Shortcut Files Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability

The SmartScreen Bypass Vulnerability is of particular concern as it could lead to an attacker circumventing SmartScreen protections and running arbitrary code.

HOWEVER, it’s important to note that, as is the case with pretty much all malware delivery methods, to successfully exploit these vulnerabilities, the attacker would either require hands-on access to the target PC or entice the user into clicking on a malicious link.

The One Golden Rule

I’ve mentioned this “One Golden Rule” ad nauseum but it certainly bears repeating: Always treat everything with a healthy degree of skepticism and an abundance of caution. Every user is susceptible to some degree, but following that one simple rule will help keep even the most vulnerable of users safe from attackers.

Scam Victims Galore

It amazes me that more and more folk are falling victim to common scams. As the numbers of victims increase so do the warnings from security experts and financial institutions. Yet, despite all these increasing warnings, numbers of victims also continue to increase. In 2022 Australians lost a record $3.1 billion to scams. Considering that Australia’s total population is a mere 26.7 million people, that equates to a staggering amount of money.

Just about every evening on the news and/or current affairs TV shows we hear of folk who have fallen victim to all sorts of scams. This might sound harsh, but in some cases, I wonder if the term “vulnerable” might not be replaced with the term “stupid”.

I cringe when I hear of some of the ways in which these folk fall victim, especially when the scam involves an online entity that the victim doesn’t know and has never met in person. Now, I realize these scammers can often be very clever and manipulative, but would you trust the word of someone you have never met based solely on a few photos and a bio, all of which is potentially false? Well, obviously, lots of folks still are.

Yep, I’m going to repeat that One Golden Rule again: Always treat everything with a healthy degree of skepticism and an abundance of caution. Not only will following that one rule help keep folk safe from attackers, but it will also help keep folk safe from scammers.

Stay safe out there!

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