Did you know that in April of 2014, Microsoft will stop providing updates and support for Windows XP, essentially declaring one of the most widely spread operating systems to be dead to any user beyond that point? While to some this might not be a big deal as they have upated, there are many machines out there that will be left behind in the past as updating to a new version of Windows is either financially not feasible, or the hardware itself is the limitation.
This ending-of-life is also opening up a whole new realm of issues; security. With the number of devices out there still running WinXP, hackers around the world will be looking to exploit any and every security hole after Microsoft walks away. ComputerWorld.com recently reported that hackers will be holding off on releasing new exploiting malware until after April for this exact reason; they would like to profit on the unpatched holes in the operating system.
"The average price on the black market for a Windows XP exploit is $50,000 to $150,000, a relatively low price that reflects Microsoft's response," said Fossen. When a new vulnerability -- dubbed a "zero-day" -- is spotted in the wild, Microsoft investigates, pulls together a patch and releases it to XP users.
Not worried or concerned? You should be. It is estimated the aging operating system will be powering more than 33% of the world's personal computers by April next year. That will mean vulnerabilities and exploits will bring come with higher value than they do currently on the market as the number of infectable machines lacking any chance of update is higher.
While many may be concerned about their security, Webroot SecureAnywhere will continue to protect the Windows XP machines well past Microsoft's write-off of XP.
Read more about the predictions at ComputerWorld: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9241585/XP_s_retirement_will_be_hacker_heaven
*sits in lawn chair April 2014*
*ready to watch the world burn*
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@Richard There is a thread discussing this back in April: https://community.webroot.com/t5/Techie/365-Days-Remaining-Until-XP-End-Of-Support-The-Countdown-Beg...
Microsoft® Windows Insider MVP - Windows Security
It is amazing how many users there still are.. but then again, it was one of the most stable of all Windows releases really (At least in my own humble opinion). To the Enterprise user, and the IT department that powers you, this is not an easy thing to move away from. It is not so simple as just installing a newer version,.
There is the problem of certifying that the applications required will run, be stable and secure on the new OS. The new OS itself must be more than just stable, it must be VERY stable. It gets rather complex and the decision making on things like this can move at a snail's pace.
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Where it will be a big issue is in certain countries where they have a huge number of illegal/cracked copies of Win XP. With no OS patches its only a matter of time before the next Conficker style infections comes out that targets XP.