It’s been a while since the bug first appeared, but help is now on the way.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on your Microsoft news, you may remember a recent exploit that would trick your PC into believing the drive was corrupted if you looked at a very particular filename. Fortunately, Microsoft is now rolling out an update that will squash this bug once and for all.
What Are Microsoft’s Plans for the Hard Drive Bug?
Bleeping Computer first spotted this update on the Windows 10 Insider Dev build. While the update isn’t live on the main branch just yet, it’s a sign that the exploit’s days are numbered.
Now when someone tries to use the exploit, Windows 10 will report that “the filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect,” and your drive remains untouched. All that’s left is to wait for this update to roll out for everyone else.
What Is the Windows 10 Hard Drive Bug?
In case you missed the news or needed a reminder, we covered the discovery of the bug that attacks when you look at it in January 2021.
The premise was simple. An attacker gave a file or folder a very particular name that triggered the bug when the computer processes it. The attacker could then send the file to unsuspecting victims over the internet.
As soon as a victim downloaded and browsed to the file with the strange name, it would trigger an exploit that marked the current drive as “dirty,” as if it had suffered corruption. Early reports suggested that the exploit didn’t corrupt any actual data, but cases afterward claimed that it did do some damage.
Microsoft said that it would fix this exploit, but the company wasn’t as rapid to release a patch as some had hoped. Eventually, OSR released an unofficial fix for the exploit, which people could use until Microsoft stepped in.
Fortunately, Microsoft has finally published an update that solves this problem. It’s still in the testing phases, but it shouldn’t be too long until this problem gets fixed.
Finally Squashing an Annoying Exploit
Regardless of if this exploit was totally harmless or if it did do actual damage, it’s a good thing that Microsoft is releasing an official patch for it. It should arrive on your computer relatively soon, but you can always download the third-party patch if you want it fixed right this moment.
Even if the bug causes no corruption whatsoever, it’s still a good idea to read up on how data is corrupted and how to fix it. That way, you’re ready if it happens for real, exploit or no.
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Data corruption can destroy the data on your HDD, so it’s wise to keep backups. Too late? Find out how to repair your hard drive.
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