The nonprofit Zeroday Emergency Response Team is offering VML security patches for out-of-support Windows OS versions.
The volunteer group, which is made up of well-respected security professionals, has released updates for Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 SP3.
The patches can be downloaded from the ZERT Web site.
Businesses running those OS versions now have to pay for custom support from Microsoft because the Redmond, Wash., software maker does not offer free patches for out-of-support products.
ZERT, which is made up of some of the best reverse engineering and malware research experts in the world, originally released a VML fix for Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP (SP1 and SP2), Windows Server 2003 (SP1 and R2 inclusive) on Sept. 22.
However, the fix was withdrawn two days later when Microsoft pushed out its official MS06-055 bulletin.
The out-of-support patches from ZERT come less than two weeks before the scheduled end of mainstream support for Windows XP SP1 and SP1a.
Microsoft support for Windows XP SP1 originally ended in January 2006, but Microsoft extended the expiration date to give customers more time to migrate to the more secure Windows XP SP2.
After Oct. 10, 2006, Microsoft will stop offering free security updates for Windows XP SP1 and SP1a.
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