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This Windows 7 Bug Will Let Any Website Crash Your PC

27 May 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

This Windows 7 Bug Will Let Any Website Crash Your PC