Microsoft has released a report that provides in-depth perspectives on exploits, vulnerabilities and malware to help customers manage risk.Risks consumers face by using Windows XP are also detailed focusing on the vulnerabilities faced after the withdrawal of support for Windows XP due in 2014.
For those that are running Windows XP, the report found that the top three worldwide threats were:
- Sality – Malware family that can steal your personal information and lower your PC security settings.
- Ramnit – Malware that infects Windows executable files, Microsoft Office files, and HTML files
- Vobfus – Family of worms that can download other malware onto your PC; can be downloaded by other malware or spread via removable drives, such as USB flash drives.
Kenyans in particular were found to be vulnerable to some warms in the class of Autorun that spreads through networks and removal storage devices, Trojans classified as Comame, and another group of Trojans classified as Comroki. Comroki Trojans can gain unauthorized access to remove PCs, try to spread through Autorun functionality and run applications at will.
In regards to threat levels, the report found out that although similar amount of malware were a threat to both Windows users on Windows XP and Windows 8, those on Windows XP had 6 times likelihood of actual infection.
“The data helps illustrate the impact security innovations in newer operating systems are having. Modern operating systems, like Windows 8, include advanced security technologies that are specifically designed to make it harder, more complex, more expensive, and, therefore less appealing for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities.” says Kunle Awosika, Country Manager, Microsoft Kenya.
The likelihood of infection is geared to scale up as the support for Windows XP is stopped.
“The importance of upgrading from Windows XP cannot be overstated,” said Kunle. “We truly want people to understand the risks of running Windows XP after support ends and to recognize the security benefits of upgrading to more modern operating system – one that includes the latest in security innovations, provides ongoing support and can in turn better protect them.” To download and learn more about the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report findings visit www.microsoft.com/sir.
The idea that Microsoft will be stopping the support for Windows XP is basically a marketing gimmick to promote Windows 8 and subsequent OS releases. If one upgrades to Windows XP 8.1, for how many years will he be assured of Microsoft’s support he is forced to upgrade to the newest version of OS? I would say that at the release of Windows 12 Windows 8 won’t be supported. Windows 12 is probably less than five years away.
I hope some good enough Open Source OS will replace Windows like yesterday. Android for PC? Hope Google is listening.