Windows 10: Upgrade already! If you're still using XP, you're a menace to Society

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  1. Posts : 28,575
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17650
       15 May 2017 #1

    Upgrade already! If you're still using XP, you're a menace to Society


    Response to my last piece -- "Why Windows must die for the third time" -- was overwhelming. Hundreds of thousands of people read that article, and we had some very spirited talkbacks indeed.

    A bunch of you came right out and said it: You don't want to upgrade from XP. You're angry that Microsoft made you upgrade from XP to 7, and 7 to 10. You're angry you need to update software continuously.

    A handful of you even suggested inflicting bodily harm on the hard-working programmers that write the software you don't want to upgrade to.

    Look, I have brought up many reasons why upgrades are necessary. As my friend from Jersey, Johnny T. likes to say, you gotta do it.

    It doesn't matter how many times I techsplain this, because some folks will always refuse to listen. Maybe it's because I write in long form and anything longer than 300 words is considered to be TL;DR these days. That's sad, and a topic for a different day.

    Let me say this as simply as possible: If you are still using XP, you are the end-user equivalent of an anti-vaxxer. You are a menace to society and everyone around you. You are a walking malware vector. You should be shipped out to a remote island with no internet access to fend for yourselves so you can't infect anyone else.

    And if you are an IT professional who serves in a decision-making capacity with an organization that continues to use XP or Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005, you should be fired. You should never be allowed to work in the computer industry again.

    You should not be allowed to touch a computer again either because you too are a menace. You are perpetuating the computer software equivalent of polio and smallpox.

    Sounds harsh? You betcha. But over the weekend, the internet got hit with a massive cryptoware malware attack that compromised untold numbers of Windows XP systems. including the UK's National Health Service, who were warned years ago that they were open to exactly the kind of life-jeopardizing malware attack they are now dealing with.

    The entire industry was warned. Years earlier, XP was issued its final end-of-life notice by Microsoft in 2014. ZDNet covered this extensively during that period with special features and editorial coverage. We had sermons on the mountaintop even.

    The malware attack this weekend was so severe and so widespread -- with systems in 74 countries affected -- that Microsoft took the unusual step of issuing an emergency patch for Windows XP...


    Read more: Upgrade already! If you're still using Windows XP, you're a menace to society | ZDNet
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  2. Posts : 578
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 1709 (OS Build 16299.371)
       15 May 2017 #1

    I too loved XP. But time and technology has passed us by. Such is life. Well said Shawn.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    15 May 2017 #2

    Kudo's to MS... there are too many apps that have not been upgraded and only run on XP..(assuming that's the reason for even running XP) alternatively some (large companies) are too cheap or stupid to upgrade...?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 1,925
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       15 May 2017 #3

    Unwarranted criticism of NHS - according to NHS:

    UPDATED Statement on reported NHS cyber-attack (13 May) - NHS Digital

    NHS said:
    We are aware of widespread speculation about the use of Microsoft Windows XP by NHS organisations, who commission IT systems locally depending on population need.While the vast majority are running contemporary systems, we can confirm that the number of devices within the NHS that reportedly use XP has fallen to 4.7 per cent, with this figure continuing to decrease.


    This may be because some expensive hardware (such as MRI scanners) cannot be updated immediately, and in such instances organisations will take steps to mitigate any risk, such as by isolating the device from the main network.
    NHS Denies Widespread Windows XP Use - GovInfoSecurity

    points to Windows 7 as the main culprit:

    Apparent Culprit: Unpatched Windows 7

    Based on new information, however, part of the problem appears to be that many NHS trusts haven't installed the latest Windows 7 patches.
    "I think what is also becoming clear is that the NHS impact was a result of lack of patching Windows 7 rather than outdated XP," Alan Woodward, a professor computer security at the University of Surrey, and a cybersecurity adviser to the EU's law enforcement intelligence agency, Europol, tells Information Security Media Group.
    "If this is the case then it shows that there is a lack of resources across the NHS IT estate," he adds.
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  5.    15 May 2017 #4

    Not convinced they have an understanding... that sounds like the typical political damage control BS when the sh!t hit the fan..."If this is the case, then it shows that there is a lack of resources across the NHS IT estate"
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  6. Posts : 1,925
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       15 May 2017 #5

    If the imaging facilities - MRI, CTS etc, are approaching (and are probably well beyond) their 10 year budgeted life span (being very expensive Kit in the first place), with hard-wired (state-of-the-art at the time) XP analysis systems built in - their response to such an attack is to take the systems offline so that they are not damaged.

    I don't think that shows lack of understanding, but a lack of resources. These are not £200 PCs, but £500k+room-filling laboratory analytical equipment.

    In the case of Windows 7 systems being unpatched, it is inexcusable.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    15 May 2017 #6

    Uhmm well, I see where you are coming from (from a pacticality point of view) , but the lack of understanding comes in prior to the attack...XP is known to have holes..it was inevitable.. IMHO
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    15 May 2017 #7

    Too many people assume companies can just spend millions at a drop of a hat replacing equipment that runs XP.

    With that said these machines should be heavily locked down behind firewalls and such to isolate it as much as possible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    15 May 2017 #8

    OilerNut said: View Post
    Too many people assume companies can just spend millions at a drop of a hat replacing equipment that runs XP.
    With that said these machines should be heavily locked down behind firewalls and such to isolate it as much as possible.
    Not when it comes to mission critical stuff like MRI and CAT scans...these are primary diagnostic equipment... I'm not sure a firewall would help much (even a DMZ for that matter)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    15 May 2017 #9

    Superfly said: View Post
    Not when it comes to mission critical stuff like MRI and CAT scans...these are primary diagnostic equipment... I'm not sure a firewall would help much (even a DMZ for that matter)
    In that case, why are such machines allowed to be connected to the Internet? Yes, I know that their manufacturers might prefer to have remote diagnostic or software upgrade capabilities, but the risk to a hospital's entire network should overrule this. (If it doesn't, consider the risk to the hospital's IT director's career!)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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