The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team has advised Windows users running Apple’s QuickTime to uninstall the software to mitigate any future security risks. The advice falls under alert TA16-105A on the United States Computer Readiness Team website, and has been issued in response to Apple announcing that it will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime on the Windows platform. This alert is intended to provide information to all Windows users running Apple’s QuickTime extensible multimedia framework.
The alert not only provides more information about the discontinuation of QuickTime for Windows, but also states under a description of the issue that while it’s understandable that all “software products have a lifecycle”, and that “Apple will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime for Windows”, consumers using it do need to be aware that the Zero Day Initiative has issued advisories for two vulnerabilities found in the Windows variant of Apple’s QuickTime framework.
Thankfully, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team doesn’t just provide all of this worrying information and then leave Windows users high-and-dry without a proposed solution. With that said, the solution isn’t exactly an elegant option that will patch the vulnerabilities and still afford Windows users with ability to continue to benefit from QuickTime. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Computers running QuickTime for Windows will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats. Potential negative consequences include loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of data, as well as damage to system resources or business assets. The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.
The alert and recommendation comes directly on the back of a report from Trend Micro that not only confirms that Apple is deprecating QuickTime for Microsoft Windows, but that also provides additional insight into the two more advisories published by the aforementioned Zero Day Initiative that outline serious vulnerabilities that Apple has no intention of patching. It is important to mention here that QuickTime for OS X remains unaffected by these issues, and there’s no security threat to Macs.
If you happen to be a Windows user who makes frequent use of QuickTime, then continue that use at your own risk. If however, you wish to take heed of the advice provided by Apple, Trend Micro and the Zero Day Initiative, then Apple has published a support document that outlines exactly how to uninstall QuickTime on a Windows machine.
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