Who has never used Windows XP? The operating system is one of Microsoft's biggest successes, and it dominated the market for many years. It was abandoned five years ago, however, now a one-off patch was released in May for XP, following the discovery of a flaw...
It was supposed to be dead as of April 2014, and Windows XP only accounted for 2.46% of the computer userbase last April. However, the flaw is so significant that the patch released on May 14 contains an update for the IT giant's star operating system. Indeed, according to Microsoft, this flaw could lead to the spread of viruses between computers.
What are the real risks?
This flaw concerns remote office services. If one computer is affected, it can contaminate one vulnerable computer and then another, affecting the entire network.
The problem is that a computer can be contaminated without its user even noticing. It is not the RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) used by Microsoft that is directly affected, the flaw comes from the underlying implementation level of this remote desktop functionality, it is a kind of pre-authentication that does not require any human interaction.
The damage can be significant, reminiscent of the "Wannacry" cyber attack that hit some 300,000 computers around the world in May 2017, particularly at FedEx, Renault, the Russian Ministry and the National Health Sevice (NHS) in the UK.
Microsoft is committed to protecting all its users
Recent OSs such as Windows 8 and 10, are not affected, however, if you have a computer running Windows 2003, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2008, you are directly affected. Although other users do not need to feel concerned, it is still advisable to update, as it addresses other (less important) security vulnerabilities.
What is Microsoft's justification for all this? To accompany this security patch, concerning an OS that is more than outdated, here is a statement from Bill Gates' firm: "Microsoft is aware that some customers use versions of Windows that no longer benefit from the usual support.... Given the potential impact on customers and their businesses, we have made the decision to provide security updates for the platforms."
I guess Windows XP is far from being buried! Do you still use Windows XP? Let us know.