The federal government is urging Windows users to delete QuickTime, a media player made by Apple.
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, issued an alert about the matter late last week.
The alert notes that Apple is no longer offering security updates for QuickTime for computers that run on Windows operating systems. That raises security concerns for Windows computers on which QuickTime remains installed:
Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to elevated cybersecurity dangers, such as increased risks of malicious attacks or electronic data loss. Exploitation of QuickTime for Windows vulnerabilities could allow remote attackers to take control of affected systems.
The alert concludes that the only way for Windows users to avoid such risks is to delete QuickTime.
This security concern does not affect Apple computers, however, because Apple is continuing to support QuickTime for computers that run on Apple operating systems.
The US-CERT alert cites a blog post published by cybersecurity company Trend Micro the same day the alert was issued. The blog post notes the recent discovery of “two new, critical vulnerabilities affecting QuickTime for Windows” and also advises Windows users to delete QuickTime:
Because Apple is no longer providing security updates for QuickTime on Windows, these vulnerabilities are never going to be patched.
We’re not aware of any active attacks against these vulnerabilities currently. But 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 US-CERT alert and Trend Micro blog post refer Windows users to Apple’s directions for uninstalling QuickTime.
If you’re unsure whether QuickTime is installed on your computer, those directions can help you figure it out. Look to see if QuickTime is listed as a program that you can uninstall via Control Panel. Or, search your computer for QuickTime and see if you find something. (Many computers come with Windows Media Player pre-installed rather than QuickTime.)
Have you experienced any issues with QuickTime recently? Let us know below or on Facebook.