The Internet Explorer vulnerability that was discovered early last week was so intense that the United States and United Kingdom deemed it necessary to issue a warning. Found in six different versions of Internet Explorer, anyone who used the browser was at risk. The bug allowed hackers to potentially take over your computer and install malware or steal personal information. But fear not – on May 1st 2014, Microsoft issued a patch that ends this bug’s reign of terror.
And, surprisingly, Microsoft released a patch for their old and outdated Windows XP operating system. Yeah, that’s right. The same operating system that they claimed was no longer supported after April 8th.
This upgrade came as a surprise to the tech community due to Microsoft’s bold statement that they wouldn’t be releasing a patch for this bug on Windows XP. Though Microsoft still released the patch, Dustin Childs of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing (Microsoft’s security group) still states that “Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.” How many XP users can believe them after they’ve made such an empty threat?
At SemTech IT Solutions, we would argue that it doesn’t matter whether Microsoft continues to support Windows XP or not. Let’s face it – the operating system is outdated and not as secure as more recent operating systems, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you are using an old operating system, you aren’t going to be able to guarantee the security of your business’s important data or your clients’ personal information.
However, there is a new threat to Internet Explorer that was recently uncovered during the patching process. FireEye discovered specific attacks against Windows XP operating systems running Internet Explorer 8. These attacks might be protected by the latest patch, but this comes down to something much bigger than just isolated attacks against IE8. This means that the threats to Windows XP are very real and legitimately exist. This is why it is important to always have the most recent security updates and patches in effect – something that XP users will miss out on if they continue to run the waning operating system.
Business owners be warned – these won’t be the last attacks against your XP machine. It is a wise choice to upgrade now while you still have the chance. Microsoft aren’t the only ones advocating for you to upgrade your computers. SemTech IT Solutions can assist you with the upgrade and the migration process. We can even help you assimilate to your new technology. Call 407-830-1434. You can trust SemTech IT Solutions to help you through this trying period.