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My unpatched PC running Windows is connected to a network which contains other "infected" computers, can I get infected by viruses without any interaction on my part?

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On Windows platforms, EMET is a Microsoft tool allowing to protect a set of software (typically all software interacting with remote machines or opening downloaded documents) against generic weaknesses (buffer overflow, etc.). It may help to prevent infection by some malware even on unpatched systems. – WhiteWinterWolf May 30 at 12:04

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up vote 9 down vote accepted


All the other infected PC(s) have to do is find a vulnerability in an unpatched application visible on the network on your PC and exploit it with vulnerabilities they know about.

This doesn't just apply to Windows either. Any OS that is network facing and has exploitable vulnerabilities can be attacked this way.

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What if I close all ports except HTTP(S)? How is the infection going to get to me? – Pacerier Dec 20 '14 at 14:56

Yes you can, these type of virusses are known as Worm virusses and may try to exploit vulnerabilities in services you are running which are network facing.

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Sure... if some of the services running on the pc are vulnerable, it's quite possible a virus could exploit this vulnerability and infect it.

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