Microsoft has announced that it will not patch against a critical vulnerability in Windows 98, 98SE and ME

20 June 2006

The FAQ section of Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-015, released as part of Microsoft's security bulletins for April 2006, was recently updated to announce that a security update for the "critical" vulnerability reported in the bulletin will not be released for Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME).

Although, according to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-015, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, and Windows ME are all critically affected by this vulnerability, no mention was made of patches for these operating systems when the bulletin was first released last April. However, it is now clear that Microsoft has deemed it unfeasible to patch against this vulnerability on these systems. This is explained in the Microsoft Technet weblog where it is recommended that users of these systems set up firewalls to filter traffic on TCP port 139. These users are also encouraged to upgrade to Windows XP as soon as possible. Microsoft will issue no more patches or security updates for these systems after 11 July 2006 and will end all public and technical support for them on this date. Online self-help support is due to end a year later.

For more information about the Windows Product Lifecycle, visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle website. For more information about the extended security update support period for these operating system versions please visit the Microsoft Product Support Services website.

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