If it weren’t for RAM there would be 70% fewer Windows patches

Are you tired for patching Windows every month, and sometimes even more often than that? As it turns out, the vast majority of Windows patches are to address memory safety bugs, according to Matt Miller, an engineer at Microsoft.

Miller made an interesting revelation at a recent security conference in Israel. He said that over the course of the last 12 years, around 70 percent of Microsoft's patches were aimed at fixing memory issues, Fudzilla reports.

That doesn't mean you should blame your PC's memory. The culprit, according to Miller, is that Windows is written almost entirely in C and C++ (along with C# and some hand tuned/hand written assembly, according to a decade-old support query). Those "memory-unsafe" programming languages give developers fine-grain access to memory addresses where code can reside and be executed.

Mistakes in coding happen, but if memory management code is not on point, it opens the door to memory errors that attackers can exploit, regardless if you're running a cheap memory kit or spent some extra scratch on the best RAM for gaming money can buy. Either way, system memory is a huge attack vector for hackers. They can use these exploits to conduct remote code execution attacks, give themselves elevated privileges, and other nasty behavior.

You would think that by now Microsoft would have stomped out most of the bugs related to memory, but it's not as simple as that. While most of the basic bugs have been exterminated, hackers have shifted to different types of exploits, ones that are more complex. So, the cat and mouse game continues.

There's nothing you can really do about the situation, but the next time you're lamenting yet another system reboot to install the latest round of patches, at least you'll know why.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).