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Serious attacks could follow shortly, according to security experts, who are urging user organisations to rapidly apply the patches issued by Microsoft.
Gartner analysts Neil MacDonald and John Pescatore emphasised the potential risk in a briefing note published last week, which said, "All users of any version of Windows, desktop and server, must take immediate steps to secure against this vulnerability."
They also warned that there was no quick fix for the vulnerability and that "dozens of different versions" of the vulnerability may be in use on firms' PCs and servers.
Although older versions of Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 98SE, ME and Windows 2000 are not vulnerable, computers running these systems are at risk if any vulnerable application has been installed.