Bleak future for XP users after patches run out April 8

by admin / 20 August 2013 / No Comments
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If you are a Windows XP user, you will want to mark April 08, 2014 on your calendars.

This is the EOL (End of life) for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system which was released in 2001. Officially, support for XP was to end in 2009, but with the popularity of netbooks – which ran the operating system quite well – Microsoft extended the support of XP for an additional 5 years.

In a blog post, a senior Microsoft executive has warned users of Windows XP to get a move on and upgrade to shinier, newer versions of Windows.

The post, by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Director Tim Rains, points out that after the end of official support for XP, the company will be basically forced to pass on details of likely XP vulnerabilities to potential attackers, without providing users with the means to defend themselves.

One risk is that attackers will have the advantage over defenders who choose to run Windows XP because attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.

The problem is, of course, that once patches stop being provided for newly-discovered vulnerabilities, any problems that are found for more recent versions may well be backwards-compatible with XP.

As details of these issues will be widely publicised, for very good reasons, there’s bound to be plenty of research going on into which ones can be used to penetrate the systems of anyone still clinging on to XP.

It has been widely speculated, that hackers are already stock-piling potential bugs and vulnerabilities. Once the April 2014 deadline has passed, the world of Windows XP will be a perpetual zero-day, with no hope of relief from danger.

If you are running Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional, and you have not yet made a contingency plan to upgrade yet, NOW is the time to begin preparing for it.

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  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver