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Microsoft Fixes Windows USB Vulnerability

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - No matter which operating system you use there are always periodic software updates available for your computer. These updates are designed to fix glitches before they become headaches.

On that note, the fix Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) sent its users an update to fix a potentially serious problem with the part of Windows that controls a computer's USB ports.

Officially, Microsoft calls the problem "Vulnerabilities in Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation Of Privileges (2807986)". They term this problem as "Important". Unlike other computer vulnerabilities this one is not spread through a connection to the Internet. Instead, someone would need physical access to your computer and its USB port to insert an external memory stick for installing the malicious code.

Affected operating systems include Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and 2012 plus Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Microsoft released the fix as part of its Patch Tuesday program. On the second Tuesday of every month the Redmond, Washington-based giant sends security patches to computers. Most computers are set to automatically receive and install important updates while you're sleeping. You can also check your computer's software updating program to install the update manually.

Microsoft shares traded in New York were down 0.1 percent to $27.88.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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