(WIRED) Microsoft released a patch for Windows 10 and Server 2016 today after the National Security Agency found and disclosed a serious vulnerability. It's a rare but not unprecedented tip-off, one that underscores the flaw's severity—and maybe hints at new priorities for the NSA.
The bug is in Windows' mechanism for confirming the legitimacy of software or establishing secure web connections. If the verification check itself isn't trustworthy, attackers can exploit that fact to remotely distribute malware or intercept sensitive data.
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"[We are] recommending that network owners expedite implementation of the patch immediately as we will also be doing," Anne Neuberger, head of the NSA's Cybersecurity Directorate, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. "When we identified a broad cryptographic vulnerability like this we quickly turned to work with the company to ensure that they could mitigate it."