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Windows XP Could Be Infected Within 10 Minutes of Support Ending

By - Source: LawJournal | B 64 comments

In an article published by the Wisconsin Law Journal, Michael Menor, a former military computer specialist and network engineer at Tech Experts in Monroe, Mich., indicated that hackers will likely pounce on Windows XP ten minutes after Microsoft pulls the plug on support this April 8, 2014.

With less than two months to go, Windows XP is still installed on 29 percent of the PCs worldwide. Chances are most of these individuals and businesses will not have moved to a more secure platform by the time Microsoft's cutoff date arrives.

Steve Treppa, principal consultant at CT Logic in Royal Oak, Mich., says the Windows XP problem is twofold.

"Obviously, Microsoft won't be [security] patching any more, but the other thing people are talking about is traditionally when Microsoft issues a patch, it's regressive to earlier versions," he said. "So the fear is the bad guys will see what the patches are for Windows 7 and 8 and go back to XP and exploit that patch, because Microsoft will not fix it."

He said Microsoft is reactive regarding patching in many cases; when a bug appears, the company fixes it. However, cyber criminals may actually be holding on to bugs and waiting for Microsoft to cease applying updates to Windows XP so that they can exploit those machines.

Last month, Microsoft acknowledged that it will "continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures."

Microsoft also warned that the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is "limited." The best way for customers to protect themselves is to use modern software (aka Windows 7 or Windows 8), regularly apply security updates for all software installed, and run up-to-date anti-virus software.

"Antimalware products have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates," Microsoft warns on the Security Essentials product page. "Therefore, after April 8, 2014, PCs running Windows XP should not be considered to be truly protected."

While all of this doom and gloom talk sounds like the Y2K event all over again, the world won't come to a screeching halt because many Windows XP users don't want to or can't upgrade to a newer platform before Microsoft's deadline.

"It's not like Y2K fears. They won't shut down, but we don't know about malware," Treppa said. "If it's true they are sitting on exploits [hacker intrusions], then it's hard to say what will happen. The best advice to give is to budget for PC replacement — now."

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  • -5 Hide
    razorskiss1000 , February 12, 2014 1:48 PM
    Kinda want to honeypot my old XP system ha
  • -1 Hide
    LORD_ORION , February 12, 2014 1:57 PM
    Spread the FUD... *eye roll*Gotta drum up those sales...
  • 4 Hide
    COLGeek , February 12, 2014 1:58 PM
    Well, within 10 minutes of a Win7/8 patch release. Certainly an alarmist view of what the future may hold.
  • -1 Hide
    rad666 , February 12, 2014 2:09 PM
    Scare tactics anyone?And, FYI to anyone who cares, I use Win7.
  • 5 Hide
    Tuishimi , February 12, 2014 2:10 PM
    This reminds of the "year 2000" panic.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , February 12, 2014 2:10 PM
    KILL WINDOWS XP
  • -7 Hide
    Lee-m , February 12, 2014 2:29 PM
    anyone still using winXP has to be the biggest scrooge in the world
  • 8 Hide
    old geye , February 12, 2014 2:37 PM
    Rubbish. I haven't installed a security patch on XP in years, and my machine is virus free.I just practice safe surfing. I also don't waste money on Internet Security software, but that's because it slows everything down.
  • 12 Hide
    smeghead4269 , February 12, 2014 2:37 PM
    Within 10 minutes? EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!!
  • -9 Hide
    Morbus , February 12, 2014 3:03 PM
    Quote:
    Well, within 10 minutes of a Win7/8 patch release. Certainly an alarmist view of what the future may hold.
    A realistic one at that.But you don't have to believe. You only have to see for yourself, it'll be all over the news.Seriously, XP machines will be in so much trouble! It's gonna be awesome!
  • 2 Hide
    K2N hater , February 12, 2014 3:20 PM
    To sum up: that specialist suggests leaving XP in favour of Win7 (but especially Win8) as it will be supported for several years on. It's obvious Win7 and Win8 are safer than XP anytime but it isn't that hard to perceive it's all paid up, right? The point is that the market share for XP shrinks every passing day to the point no-one will bother with writing malware for it.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , February 12, 2014 3:22 PM
    Quote:
    Rubbish. I haven't installed a security patch on XP in years, and my machine is virus free.I just practice safe surfing. I also don't waste money on Internet Security software, but that's because it slows everything down.
    Yeah, you aren't allowed to say that with certainty since you aren't certain. Did you know that some viruses show absolutely no signs and that those are the worst ones and did you know that with unpatched vulnerabilities it is possible to control your computer without you even knowing? There is a reason those patches are released and it isn't because of viruses that shoot off fireworks letting you know they are there, it is to fix the problems that allow hackers to use your computer as a zombie without you even knowing about it.
  • -4 Hide
    stuart72 , February 12, 2014 3:31 PM
    " As of February 2014, Windows XP market share is at 29.23%,", wikipediaI'm with Mr Menor with this - things could well be very messy indeed
  • 8 Hide
    tolham , February 12, 2014 3:55 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Rubbish. I haven't installed a security patch on XP in years, and my machine is virus free.I just practice safe surfing. I also don't waste money on Internet Security software, but that's because it slows everything down.
    Yeah, you aren't allowed to say that with certainty since you aren't certain. Did you know that some viruses show absolutely no signs and that those are the worst ones and did you know that with unpatched vulnerabilities it is possible to control your computer without you even knowing? There is a reason those patches are released and it isn't because of viruses that shoot off fireworks letting you know they are there, it is to fix the problems that allow hackers to use your computer as a zombie without you even knowing about it.
    viruses don't just magically appear on your computer, you have to let them in. there are a myriad of third-party security programs that shore up computer protection. besides, it's not like microsoft's patches get rid of malware and viruses, you have to use security programs to protect yourself anyway. if a malware dev find a security weakness in windows XP, a security dev will make a program to plug it up and remove the malware.
  • 4 Hide
    ZolaIII , February 12, 2014 3:58 PM
    I actually winder how much did M$ pay $$$ for this commercial? If you won't to be relatively safe use Linux & if you want to be 99% safe use BSD!
  • 2 Hide
    ZolaIII , February 12, 2014 3:59 PM
    I actually winder how much did M$ pay $$$ for this commercial? If you won't to be relatively safe use Linux & if you want to be 99% safe use BSD!
  • 2 Hide
    ZolaIII , February 12, 2014 4:01 PM
    Wonder*
  • 6 Hide
    rwinches , February 12, 2014 4:06 PM
    I will always have 95B,98SE and XP systems up and running I have the hardware lots of software and I have a firewall. One system 98SE I use with a SCSI connected HP scanner for Sam's Photofacts, it runs perfectly making PDFs, why would I change anything. One System has dual 500mhz cpus on a DFI MB 19" CRT great for older games. I also have a Sun Ultra 2 with dual 400mhz cpus running a database. I guess when parts wear out and I can't get replacement parts...
  • 7 Hide
    InvalidError , February 12, 2014 4:31 PM
    OSes and software get infected even while still under on-going maintenance from the original writer/vendor so Windows XP is not going to magically become several times more infection-prone than it already is overnight just because official support has ended.
  • 1 Hide
    bebangs , February 12, 2014 4:33 PM
    xp still better than windows8. =P
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