Microsoft has confirmed that it will release an emergency patch to fix a short cut vulnerability in its Windows operating system.
The Telegraph reports that the vulnerability allows hackers to gain remote access to PCs via a loophole in the the way Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems deal with infected shortcuts.
The company said that a compromised USB key is capable of using Windows shortcuts to deploy malware on a user's PC.
Microsoft has marked the vulnerability as highly critical after stating that there has been a significant increase in the number of hacking attempts trying to exploit the flaw in the last few days.
“We’re able to confirm that, in the past few days, we’ve seen an increase in attempts to exploit the vulnerability,” said Christopher Budd, a senior security response manager at Microsoft.
“We firmly believe that releasing the update out-of-band is the best thing to do to help protect our customers.”
Microsoft has said that the patch will be released later today and has advised all users to install the fix to protect against potential attacks.