Microsoft Windows
IN PHOTO: Microsoft Corp's Ashley Frank talks about Windows 10 at the annual shareholders' meeting in Bellevue, Washington December 3, 2014. Reuters/Jason Redmond

Microsoft has recently issued an emergency fix for all devices that run on supported versions of its Windows operating system. With the fix, the company aims to prevent hackers from gaining unfettered access to the computers of Windows users.

This bug would have permitted hackers to take “complete control of the affected system,” the company said in its online security bulletin Microsoft Technet. Hackers can attack unsuspecting Windows devices by convincing users to click open a maliciously designed document. The operating system’s vulnerability affected OpenType, which is a format that is used for computer fonts that was co-developed by Adobe and Microsoft.

After hacking into Windows, the hackers could “then install programs, view, change or delete data, or create new accounts with full user rights.” Users of Windows RT, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows Vista would all have been vulnerable victims to what has been denoted to be Microsoft’s highest level of threat.

With this in mind, the company decided not to wait for its regular schedule of releasing security updates, otherwise known as Patch Tuesday, which it usually performs every month. The last time Microsoft felt compelled to launch an emergency fix like this one was in November 2014, according to Computer World.

This issue was first spotted by computer security researchers who got to scan a collection of emails that were leaked to the Internet following a cyber attack that was done on Hacking Team, an Italian surveillance and spy software firm, earlier this month, as reported by CNET. Microsoft has credited Genwei Jiang of FireEye and Mateusz Jurczyk of the security squad of Google’s Project Zero for discovering the flaw.

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