Windows 7 is arguably one of Microsoft's greatest achievements to date. However, the company's OS is far from impervious, despite its free antivirus/malware protection suite, beefed up memory protections, and numerous security tweaks.
Today Microsoft will release an "out of band" emergency patch to try to lock out a highly dangerous new family of malware that's attacking Windows 7 via a vulnerability in .LNK files.
LNK files are more commonly known as shortcuts. You often see shortcuts on your desktop. Clicking them runs programs in the Windows Shell (Microsoft's graphical layout in Windows and its supporting backend). However, shortcuts can also be autorun, under certain conditions, when USB sticks or MP3 players newly connect to a machine. The problem is that the autorun can be used to start an attack process, if the LNK file is a malicious attack package coordinator.
In other Windows 7 news, according to market researchers StatsCounter the new OS has finally surpassed its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows Vista never managed to pass Windows XP, the current market leader. However, StatsCounter's numbers show Windows 7 market share soaring and Windows XP market share in an equally steady fall.
If those numbers give you deja vu, you're not going crazy. Back in May, Janco Associates -- another market research troop -- reported that Windows 7 had passed Windows Vista internationally. According to StatsCounter's research, though, this is the first month Windows 7 came out on top. Its current numbers show Windows XP with 54.89 percent, Windows 7 with 19.56 percent, Windows Vista with 18.82 percent, Mac OS X with 5 percent, and Linux with 0.74 percent.
This patch should appear in your Automatic Updates and will require a reboot.
Positive notes on W7 surpassing Vista. Didn't take long!
Edited by JonM33, 02 August 2010 - 10:04 PM.