Microsoft to release emergency patch on Monday

Microsoft has announced that it will release a fix for a widely-reported zero-day vulnerability in the how all current Windows versions handle shortcut (*.lnk) files. Microsoft had previously announced details about the vulnerability and released a temporary workaround that erases shortcut icons and replaces them with blank white icons. This out-of-band fix will be released Monday, more than a week before the software giant’s regularly-scheduled monthly security update release.

“Microsoft plans to release an out-of-band update to address (the shortcut vulnerability),” a posting to the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. The posting also describes how copycat attackers are predictably copying successful exploits, increasing the number of real-world attacks. Thus, Microsoft felt it couldn’t wait on the fix.

According to Microsoft, the fix should hit Windows Update at about 10:00 am Pacific Time (1:00 pm Eastern) on Monday. Given the severity of the flaw and its widespread effect across all supported Windows versions, we recommend that all Windows users immediately download and install this patch.

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