An increase in attacks exploiting a recent vulnerability in LNK files in the Windows operating system fueled the creation and imminent release of an out of band patch to protect PCs running Windows from those attacks.
Until now, only workarounds were available to protect Windows systems from those attacks.
This included a Microsoft Fix-IT solution, third party software to detect and block malicious LNK files, and a Stuxnet Rootkit Remover to clean infected computer systems from common Stuxnet variants that exploit the vulnerability as well.
Security software, like Microsoft Security Essentials offer protection against known attack forms by now and is a user's first line of defense against attacks exploiting the vulnerability.
The increase in attacks however made it necessary to patch the security vulnerability as fast as possible to stop the rise of infected systems by making sure that attacks on systems won't have any effect on them anymore due to the patch.
The security patch has "achieved the appropriate quality bar for broad distribution to customers", according to a blog post on the Microsoft Security Response Center.
The attacks are currently spreading mainly in a handful of countries, including Brazil and the United States
The out of band security patch will be released on Monday, August 2, 2010 at or around 10 AM PDT. Additional information about exploits that target the vulnerability is available at this Technet blog post.
There you find information about malware families that exploit the security issue in Windows with options to click through for additional information about each family and technical information about it.
Computer users should look out for the security patch on August 2. It will be distributed through Windows Update, Microsoft Download and other official channels.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.