Software giant Microsoft said that people using all versions of Windows could be affected by the recent Freak phenomenon.
Freak is a vulnerability caused by software engineers making encryption weaker in operating systems as a result of an order by the USA in the 1990s.
Previously, it was known that the Freak vulnerability affected devices such as Apple and Android operating systems.
Microsoft described Freak “as an industry wide issue that is not specific to Windows operating systems”.
Microsoft doesn’t believe that peoples’ computers have yet been publicly exploited.
Microsoft said it is working with its partners to give information to customers to help them secure their machines. The security advisory can be found here.
Both Google and Apple devices are vulnerable to a bug and the companies are rushing to create patches for people that have such devices.
The bug – named Freak – has been in devices for years and follows US government rules in the 1990s which forced tech vendors to offer weak encryption for devices being exported abroad. While the US government changed those rules, the vulnerability remained in later iterations of the software.
Google has apparently already fixed the bug, while Apple will push an update as early next week.
Freak stands for factoring attack on RSA-Export keys – and was apparently first discovered by French researchers, whose findings were later confirmed by other experts in the field.
Quite a few well known websites, including government websites, support the less secure encryption but Google has advised people to disable that support.