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End of XP Support
Windows XP support ended April 8th 2014
As you probably know after April 8, Windows XP users will no longer receive new Microsoft security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its “end of life” will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft.
So what is the risk of continuing to run Windows XP after its end of support date?
One risk is that attackers will have the advantage over defenders (users), who choose to run Windows XP because attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.
Why is this the case?
When Microsoft releases a security update, security researchers and criminals will often reverse engineer the security update in short order in an effort to identify the specific section of code that contains the vulnerability addressed by the update. Once they identify this vulnerability, they attempt to develop malicious code that will allow them to exploit it on systems that do not have the security update installed on them.
They also try to identify whether the vulnerability exists in other products with the same or similar functionality. For example, if a vulnerability exists in more than one version of Windows. To ensure that defenders (users) are not at a disadvantage to attackers who employ such practices, one long standing principle is that the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) releases updates for all affected products simultaneously. This practice ensures users have the advantage over such attackers, as they get security updates for all affected products before attackers have a chance to reverse engineer them.
But after April 8, 2014, organisations that continue to run Windows XP won’t have this advantage over attackers any longer.
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