THE US Department for Homeland Security has warned Windows users to remove Apple's QuickTime for Windows after two zero-day vulnerabilities were found in the code.
The bugs were found by Trend Micro, which has confirmed with Apple that QuickTime for Windows is now end-of-life and won't receive any further updates. Any attempt to use it will put your computer at risk.
The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team has advised customers that removing QuickTime is the only way to mitigate the risks.
Trend Micro has not found any evidence of attacks in the wild, but said that the decision not to fix the bugs, released in accordance with the Zero Day Initiative, means that QuickTime should now be treated with the same suspicion as other end-of-life products such as Windows XP and Windows SQL Server 2005, which was officially put out to pasture earlier this week.
"We’re not aware of any active attacks against these vulnerabilities currently. But the only way to protect your Windows systems from potential attacks against these or other vulnerabilities in Apple QuickTime is to uninstall it," said Trend Micro.
Apple has yet to comment, and frankly we got bored with the hold music. We know that Apple has had one eye on killing off QuickTime for a while, but the news comes as a shock, mostly because the firm hasn't officially said as much, although it does have a support page explaining how to remove the software.
Many commentators have said in the past that QuickTime is full of vulnerabilities, but not to the extent of plug-ins such as Adobe Flash and Java.
The end of QuickTime for Windows will be a bit 'meh' for many Windows users, but it's worth noting that a lot of older websites with embedded video will no longer work on Windows machines.
Additionally, some third-party packages will no longer play mp4 (i.e. iTunes) video files. Plenty have got round this in the past, so it's not an out-and-out 'game over', but there will be a few webmasters with an almighty job on their hands this morning.
We're going to get back on hold with Apple because it would be nice if the company, you know, told someone. µ
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