Microsoft can't patch flaw in Windows 98, ME

Microsoft says it cannot patch a critical vulnerability in its Windows 98 and Windows ME operating systems.

With support for its Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (ME) operating systems about to expire, Microsoft has given up on the idea of patching a critical security vulnerability in the products, the company announced last week.

The flaw has to do with the way Windows Explorer handles the Component Object Model objects used by Windows programs. Attackers could take over a system by tricking users into visiting a Web site that would then connect them to a remote file server. "This remote file server could then cause Windows Explorer to fail in a way that could allow code execution," Microsoft said.

Microsoft had fixed the problem in the majority of its Windows products on April 11. At the time, it had promised to deliver a patch for Windows 98 and ME "as soon as possible."

However, on Thursday, the company updated its bulletin on the issue, saying that this fix would require a lot of work and would possibly break applications being used on these platforms. (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS06-015.mspx

"After extensive investigation, Microsoft has found that it is not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary... to eliminate the vulnerability," Microsoft's bulletin states. "We have found that these architectures will not support a fix for this issue now or in the future. "

Microsoft is about to stop providing security fixes for Windows 98 and ME altogether. The company's next monthly patch release next Tuesday is the last scheduled security fix for the two operating systems.

Microsoft executives could not be reached to comment for this story.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?