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Privacy-Compromising NSA Malware Did Not Affect Microsoft Users According To Tech Giant

Travelers Today       By    JC Santos

Updated: Apr 19, 2017 06:50 AM EDT

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The tech giant claims that all users of their Windows operating system and who have updated their operating systems are protected from the NSA malware tools discovered online. The malware, discovered by the press, is capable of breaking into computers of Windows users with options even to completely control of the computer.

According to ABC News, "TheShadowBrokers", an online collective of online investigators, said the "toolkit" it dumped made use of "undisclosed vulnerabilities" in Microsoft's code. Companies using Windows could easily be sabotaged internally at will by the controllers of the toolkit.

Organizations using previous versions of Windows including Windows 7 are likely to be struck by the malware. Cybersecurity firm Hacker House representative Matthew Hickey, said many organizations have put their Windows patch updates off, indicating that many more servers and machines could be affected by the malware.

Windows confirms it had launched the update to protect users from the leaked NSA malware. BBC said Microsoft's engineers have already "investigated the disclosed exploits" and "most of the exploits are already patched." However, the company only released the updates the previous month, indicating Microsoft was not alerted to the vulnerabilities in its own code, nor did it tip-off to third parties who discovered the vulnerabilities.

To avoid the issue, all Microsoft users are encouraged to update to the latest versions of Microsoft's security and to upgrade to Windows 10. Else, Microsoft users face the ire of strangely named viruses including ODDJOB, ZIPPYBEER and ESTEEMAUDIT, which according to intercept, will take control of the entire computer.

Most of these viruses could be perceived as battering rams for NSA's Tailored Access Operations group to access certain files or overall information it needs. According to Hickey, cited by The Intercept, he had never seen so many exploits released all at the same time. He said the exploits could now be "at the hands of anyone who cares to download them" and "people would be using these attacks for years to come."

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hacking, technology, computers, computer technology, nsa, exploits, malware
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