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After WannaCry, Microsoft amps up security updates

The tech giant releases several Windows XP patches to address vulnerabilities that are in heightened danger from cyberattacks by government organizations.

Microsoft aims to avoid another Wannacry ransomware outbreak.

Microsoft regularly issues security updates, but it added a little something extra on Tuesday: it's letting all customers, even those using older versions of Windows, update their software.

This move is an attempt to avoid another ransomware outbreak like WannaCry, also called WannaCrypt, which rocked the web last month.

"The WannaCrypt ransomware served as an all too real example of the danger of cyber attacks to individuals and businesses globally," Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft's Cyber Defense Operations Center, wrote in a blog post. "In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyber attacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors or other copycat organizations."

Microsoft said it made the decision to apply this assortment of updates to provide further protection against potential attacks with similar characteristics as WannaCrypt. The security updates will be delivered automatically through Windows Update to devices running Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

"Our security teams actively monitor for emerging threats to help us prioritize and take appropriate action," Eric Doerr, general manager of Microsoft's Security Response Center, wrote in a blog post. "We are committed to ensuring our customers are protected against these potential attacks and we recommend those on older platforms, such as Windows XP, prioritize downloading and applying these critical updates."