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Windows XP Support Ending, But Not Quite? | Black Hole Tec

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Windows XP Support Ending, But Not Quite?

Submitted by Tim Hage on Sun, 01/19/2014 - 19:11

It's old news now that Microsoft is planning to end all support for their aged, but much-beloved and still prolific operating system, Windows XP, which will be turning the ripe old age of 13 this October. After many, many years of support, Microsoft announced they will be ending patching and security-updating operations in April of this year. However, Microsoft recently gave a little hope to those not yet ready to upgrade from XP by announcing that Microsoft Security Essentials would continue to be updated for the operating system for an additional 15 months, until July 2015.


An interesting an underestimated side-effect of the ending of XP support, is just how many Automatic Teller/Cash Point Machines are still running the operating system: More than 95%! And when you consider that there are approximately 420,000 ATMs in the USA alone, and an estimated 3 million worldwide, that's a gigantic security liability for hackers to exploit. Some banks and ATM owners have begun updating to Windows 7, but it's only expected that roughly 15% of those machines will be updated in time for the April deadline.

By no means is this something entirely rare or never before seen, and it doesn't mean that everyone's bank accounts will be drained to zero by hackers on the day after Microsoft's ending of support, but it does mean that every day these machines are left on XP, it does give one more day to malware and malicious software developers to find and exploit potential weaknesses in the system.

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