Homeland Security issues warning about QuickTime for Windows

Apple no longer supports the video playback software, making it vulnerable to zero-day exploits

Homeland Security issues warning about QuickTime for Windows
Zoran Zeremski/Thinkstock

Because Apple no longer supports QuickTime for Windows, users are being encouraged to uninstall the program immediately. The warning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comes on the heels of a warning from antivirus vendor Trend Micro that the video playback software is vulnerable to a pair of zero-day exploits.

Apple has not updated the Windows version of QuickTime 7 since January and it would seem does not plan to release any more security patches to fix the exploits. Trend Micro notes that even Apple recommends Windows users uninstall the player. QuickTime for Mac is unaffected and remains supported by Apple.

Trend Micro said it was not aware of any active attacks against these vulnerabilities, but that “the only way to protect your Windows systems from potential attacks against these or other vulnerabilities in Apple QuickTime now is to uninstall it.”

The DHS warning is pretty basic and to the point about QuickTime no longer being supported, and it cites Trend Micro’s findings. DHS doesn't usually issue these alerts, so it’s pretty serious when it does. Three years ago it recommended users uninstall Java completely, leaving Oracle a little red-faced over the shoddy condition of the language it inherited when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010.

But that warning also proved motivating, and Oracle has significantly improved the security around the Java language in subsequent years. DHS also issued a similar recommendation not to use Internet Explorer two years ago until Microsoft issued a security patch.

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