Warning of an uptick in attacks, Microsoft plans to issue an emergency update to patch a critical Windows vulnerability that hackers are exploiting to seize control of PCs.
The patch, which fixes the way Windows parses shortcut icons, will be released on Monday at around 10 a.m. California time. It comes two weeks after reports surfaced that unknown hackers were exploiting the flaw in an attempt to install malware on systems that control the operations of power plants and other critical infrastructure. At least two customer of SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, software offered by Siemens have been hit by a computer worm that exploits the bug.
“We are releasing the bulletin as we’ve completed the required testing and the update has achieved the appropriate quality bar for broad distribution to customers,” Christopher Budd, Microsoft’s senior security response communications manager,” wrote. “Additionally, we’re able to confirm that, in the past few days, we’ve seen an increase in attempts to exploit the vulnerability. We firmly believe that releasing the update out of band is the best thing to do to help protect our customers.”