QuickTime hit with emergency hack warning

For millions of users, QuickTime is the go-to video viewing software for desktops and laptops. Now both the US Government and Apple are telling Windows users to immediately delete QuickTime due to hacking risks.

CNN is reporting the US Department of Homeland Security recently sent out an “urgent” alert instructing Windows customers to uninstall Apple’s QuickTime program RIGHT NOW.

The alert read, in part: “Using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats. The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.”

Apple stopped offering support for QuickTime on Windows, and the company will no longer issue any more security updates on its Windows version of QuickTime. According to CNN, this decision was made despite two major vulnerabilities in the software that hackers could potentially exploit to gain access to users’ computers.

According to NYC entrepreneur Jonah Engler, “Again, this has already happened. Apple issued its final QuickTime for Windows update last January, the latest in a series of bug fixes that has never quite seemed to end. That said, Apple plans to continue offering support and updates for QuickTime for Mac.”

While no problems have been reported to date, the PR issue here is one of perception. If consumers believe QuickTime is a problem, they may not bother to check if it’s the Mac or Windows version that has the vulnerability. They may just click uninstall and choose something else.

If Mac wants customers to continue using its software, the company needs to be very careful how they distribute this information and very specific about what they say and when they say it.

The move is an interesting one for Apple. To stop supporting Windows machines while still supporting Mac machines relative to the same software may say something about Mac’s concerns about Windows machines in general. Either that or they aren’t getting enough out of the Windows version of the program to bother with the time and expense to keep it up to date.

Outmoded software is a constant security threat many computer users are completely unaware of. To avoid aggravating customers who may not be that computer literate in the first place – and thus more vulnerable in general – manufacturers should make a point to be very proactive in their communication of both potential risks and demonstrable dangers.


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