Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Windows XP to become a dream target for hackers

Best Windows XP screenshot
The 11-year-old Windows XP operating system is today still being used by almost 34% of the internet users. If offline users are included, this figure is very likely to be significantly higher.

Support for Windows XP is expected to cease on April 8, 2014. Meaning that after this date, Microsoft will no longer be releasing security updates for the operating system. The cease of support and the large market share of Windows XP makes the operating system a dream target for hackers around the world.

At this time, it is expected that hackers around the world will be holding off to exploit and publish found vulnerabilities for Windows XP until after Microsoft has dropped its support for the operating system. The reasons are obvious, after April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide patches to remedy vulnerabilities, making an exploit highly potent in the wild.

The problem is in actuality so severe that some people claim that Microsoft very well may have to change their stance if a critical exploit is found and used in the wild. They may have to release more updates. On the other hand, Microsoft may also simply tell the customers that they are aware of the problem but encourage the customers to upgrade instead.

Personally, I know several people that still run Windows XP. They are very happy with their operating system, and convincing them to upgrade is more or less impossible. But to be honest, these machines are rather old, and probably reaching their end-of-life very soon, therefore, the problem may very well go away soon by itself.

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