This week, Microsoft issued patches for 79 flaws across its platforms and products. One of them merits particular attention: a bug so bad that Microsoft released a fix for it on Windows XP, an operating system it officially abandoned five years ago. There’s maybe no better sign of a vulnerability’s severity; the last time Microsoft bothered to make a Windows XP fix publicly available was a little over two years ago, in the months before the WannaCry ransomware attack swept the globe. This week’s vulnerability has similarly devastating implications. In fact, Microsoft itself has drawn a direct parallel. “Any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017,” Simon Pope, director of incident response for the Microsoft Security Response Center, wrote in a statement announcing the patch Tuesday. “It is highly likely that … [Read more...] about Microsoft’s First Windows XP Patch in Years Is a Very Bad Sign
Running windows xp
The latest desktop OS market share numbers have been released by a major analytics firm, and while they show Windows 10 continuing to forge ahead, Windows 7 has actually undergone a slight uptick, too – which could be a potentially worrying sign for the future of Microsoft’s operating systems.The new figures from Netmarketshare for January show Windows 10 breaking the 40% barrier for the first time, hitting 40.9%, a sizeable increase from the previous month where it stood at 39.22%.Given that, you’d expect Windows 7 would have dropped, as it did in December 2018, when it fell two clear percentage points down to 36.9%. In January, however, it actually edged up to 37.19%, an increase of 0.29%.Where did Windows 10 make its gains, then? From people leaving Windows XP mainly – which sank to 2.76%, from 4.54% the previous month – and also Windows 8/8.1 deserters.Creep showHowever, it’s the fact that Windows 7 has crept up which is worth considering for a … [Read more...] about Windows 10 gains users, but so does Windows 7 – could it be the new Windows XP?
Updated 12/31/18, 1:45 p.m. ET: We've updated the headline and date of this story to give any gamers still running Microsoft's older operating systems a heads-up that the Steam client will stop running on their machines when the clock ticks over to 2019. Luckily, you can get a copy of a newer Microsoft OS for free or cheap. Valve announced that starting January 1, 2019 the Steam client will no longer work on PCs running the Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems, giving Steam users have no other choice but to update to a more recent version of Windows. Most already have: According to Valve's latest Steam Hardware Survey, less than 1% of the user base is still on Windows XP, and Windows Vista didn’t even appear in the results. That means the impact of Valve’s decision shouldn't be significant, but as a sign of good faith, the company is giving affected users what is left of the year to make the transition. In the meantime, Windows XP and Windows Vista users can … [Read more...] about Reminder: Steam Will Drop Support for Windows XP and Vista on January 1
Security features on ATM machines are a nothing more than an inconvenience for hackers, and it wouldn't take them longer than 10, maybe 15 minutes, to break through the defences.That's according to a new report by Positive Technologies which says there is a whole swathe of security vulnerabilities plaguing ATM machines everywhere."More often than not, security mechanisms are a mere nuisance for attackers: our testers found ways to bypass protection in almost every case," the researchers said. "Since banks tend to use the same configuration on large numbers of ATMs, a successful attack on a single ATM can be easily replicated at greater scale."The researchers analysed 26 ATM machines from different manufacturers and providers. The results have shown that 15 of them were running Windows XP, while 22 were vulnerable to network spoofing attacks. Moreover, 18 were vulnerable to ‘black box’ attacks with the help of a Raspberry Pi or a similar machine, while 20 could be forced out … [Read more...] about Security firms warn most ATMs still run Windows XP
On Microsoft's earnings call for the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, CEO Satya Nadella said that "more than half of the commercial device installed base is on Windows 10." A Microsoft spokesperson "clarified" this to say, "based on Microsoft's data, we can see that there are now more devices in the enterprise running Windows 10 than any other previous version of Windows." That description offers a little more wriggle room; Windows 10 might only have a plurality share of enterprise systems rather than the majority share Nadella claimed. But either way, a substantial number of machines in the enterprise are currently running Windows 10. Equally, however, it means that there's a substantial number of machines not running Windows 10. Those systems are likely to be running Windows 7. Windows 7 is due to drop out of support in January 2020. Beyond that date, Windows 7 users will either have to pay for up to three years of patches or switch to Microsoft-hosted virtual machines, … [Read more...] about Half of enterprise machines run Windows 10, as Windows 7’s end of life looms