It's been a bad month for Windows 7 users. Any notorious intruder can affect your Windows system simply by sending a malicious link with a downloaded image file with the special file's name your way.
"As Ars Technica reports, Windows 7 and 8.1 (and Vista) fail to handle files with "$MFT" in a directory name - c:\$MFT\123 for example. In some cases, the computer may throw up the dreaded blue screen of death eventually.More news: Penguins return to Stanley Cup final with Game 7 win over Senators
The characters, $MFT, will be familiar to people who fiddle with metadata on old computers; it's what Microsoft uses to designate a specific metadata file on your PC. Essentially, if a bad actor uses $MFT as a directory name on a website, a browser trying to load a file in that directory will cause the PC to hang.
As for older versions of the OS, namely Windows 95 and Windows 98, the special keyword of choice was "c:\con\con" and it would make the machine crash nearly instantly.More news: Manchester bomber seen buying rucksack in city on Friday
The recent ransomware attacks have brought old versions of Windows back under scrutiny in the hope that bugs and flaws can be patched before they become a problem.
The new bug is trivially easy to exploit, making just browsing the web potentially hazardous, and there's now no fix available.More news: Private service, public viewing for Cornell planned Friday
If you are running any of the older versions of Windows, there isn't much you can do to protect yourself against the bug. A specially crafted website (looking to inflict harm on unwitting users) could use this exploit to crash your PC - the potential victim would only need to visit the site for a successful attack. Comment down below if you think Microsoft should tighten the security of its underlying infrastructure.
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