Windows 10 users are being urged to make sure their PCs are fully up to date following the discovery on a new security flaw.
The vulnerability, which was discovered by cyber security firm McAfee Labs, affects Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana and could allow hackers to bypass the password on your computer and access your files.
The flaw allows hackers to invoke Cortana even when the computer is locked and use it to browse through files stored on your PC.
Security researchers said they were able to use the flaw to trick Cortana into install malicious software which was then used to reset the password and gain access to the PC.
McAfee says the flaw affects PCs and laptops – even ones which are password protected.
The only requirement for a hacker to expose the flaw is that Cortana is enabled to to work when on the lock screen, which is a default setting for Windows 10.
Since being informed about the flaw, Microsoft has now rolled an urgent security update. If you have Windows 10 setup to install updates automatically then it is likely your PC will be up to date.
If not, you need to manually check when updates were last installed. Do this by going to Start > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates.
“June’s “Patch Tuesday” (June 12) is here, but it is likely many Windows 10 users have not yet applied these updates, McAfee said on its blog.
“If you have not, just be sure not to leave your laptop lying around!
“The patches in this cycle fix a code execution vulnerability using the default settings for Windows 10 and the “Cortana” voice assistant.”