XP Is a Sitting Duck for Cyberattacks

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bobjengr   5/4/2014 9:17:12 AM
Excellent post Rob and obviously very timely.  I have been running XP since MS introduced the OS and consider it the "best of the bunch" in comparison to other systems developed and commercialized to date.  I do think one obstacle to change is the feeling of great comfort in knowing how to use XP.  I personally feel right at home and can actually get work accomplished without going to the "help" button repeatedly.  I tried Vista, which was a nightmare for me, then quickly moved back to XP.  I was just too busy to invest time in overcoming the deficiencies of the system and taking steps to overcome the learning curve necessary for competency. 

 If you want to discuss obsolescence; I have been working with the VA on behalf of my father and the monthly pension he receives.  That has led me to several VA offices in the Southeast.  I actually saw one computer using the 3.5 inch floppy disk for storage.  In asking about the out-of-date situation, I was told funding is a real problem for system upgrades and the VA is continuously being promised new equipment.   They also indicated the time needed to convert, even if the $$$$$$ were there, would be considerable considering the amount of storage on file.  GO FIGURE.

Again, great post.  

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Re: Really people?
tekochip   5/1/2014 11:16:28 AM
Seriously people?
I agree, I can't imagine writing a chunk of code and then being forced to support it for free, forever, despite any changes in technology that make features obsolete, and changes in technology that force new features.  While at the same time thousands of other engineers are disassembling the code and attempting to find ways to vandalize it, and then I have to patch the code to prevent the vandals from doing more damage.  Then, while I'm doing all that for free I have to add features that allow engineers to have access to my customer's software to perform the very same activities that the vandals are doing, but somehow the software is supposed to know that it's OK for Google, Facebook and the NSA to hack the system, but not the Russian mob peddling porn.
Provide this support for your product, do it for free, and do it forever.


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Really people?
rosek   5/1/2014 8:36:02 AM
It is hard for me to accept the level of conspriracy-minded folks that post here!  Evil Microsoft, forcing us poor consumers to upgrade our operating systems, the horror, treason!

C'mon man! I've been doing industrial controls and automation for more years than I care to admit and when a new OS comes to the market, I look at it with a critical eye. Some upgrades I skipped (Me, 2000, Vista) but have mostly been satisfied with the results. I still have a couple of ancient boxes running NT 4 but those don't anywhere near the Internet!

Just think of the publicity a hacker could get if he was able to trash a SCADA system at some large manufacturing concern - that would be superior to hosing Grandma's computer with all those pictures of kittens and grand children!

There is no conspriacy people, just the arms race simulacrum of modern human society!

Elizabeth M
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Re: The XP dilemma persists
Elizabeth M   5/1/2014 6:31:06 AM
Yes, a.saji, you make an excellent point, but I think sometimes people keep older versions because they actually run pretty well on whatever machine they are installed on. Although support for new apps is indeed not going to happen with these dinosaur OSes.

William K.
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Re: Remember Y2K?
William K.   4/30/2014 10:23:46 PM
How about if the government decided to "explain" to microsopht that they are willing to do "whatever it takes" to convince thekm to continue the support. I am not talking about spending lots of money. Better yet, how about the justice deopartment investigating the monopoly and unethical practices that have been going on for a whole lot of years. 

Better yet, how about deciding to take away the support for the OS that our military uses is an act of treason, and start working out suitable penalties for the guilty ones.

Nancy Golden
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Re: XP is a Sitting Duck
Nancy Golden   4/30/2014 9:34:35 PM
Excellent point, MarkKern and as a test engineer this is something we deal with often. Backward compatibility has never been a major concern for most software manufacturers...A simple solution for us, just like you, has been to keep the test sets going with everything including datalogging functions either stand alone or just on the internal company network. Once the data is available - anyone can take the file and send it wherever they want.

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Re: Remember Y2K?
Trenth   4/30/2014 8:25:18 PM
There is not a lot of risk as long as you are running thrid party security programs like Norton.   


The cost for propriatary system built on XP to upgrade are absurd, I can't believe the military, gov and industries are letting microsoft do this.


It's one thing not to offer the new features of the new os for free, but security should have been built int, and it's an obligation by microsoft that should never have needed so much work in the first place.  


Use Ubuntu and run winxp under it if you are really worryed and have to much legacy software to upgrade.  


Make image backups of all your systems.  


NSA:  watch to make sure usoft does no hire folks to attack XP to boost win8 sales, you are supposed to defend us from cyber attacks, remember?  

Charles Murray
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Re: The XP dilemma persists
Charles Murray   4/30/2014 7:32:41 PM
Good points, Battar. Maybe obsolescence is the best protection, as you say. Unfortunately, I can't even begin to imagine how hackers think.

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The Death of DOS
tekochip   4/30/2014 10:24:16 AM
The death of DOS wasn't that long ago either.  Three years ago I did some work for a medical device company that had to upgrade their automated tools because the software was built with a DOS compiler.  They tried their best to keep machines running Win95 just because of the V&V required if new software was implemented.  In the end we used DosBox, an application designed by gamers to keep playing their much-loved games on 32 bit machines.  Of course, that means I was able to play Commander Keen again.

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Remember Y2K?
Schillig   4/30/2014 10:06:43 AM
If you remember there was a lot of wining about upgrading computers and software back then too. But it turned out there was an uptick in productivity because of all the compurter upgrades back then.

I'm no fan of Microsoft (Avid Linux user) but to be fair to them, they warned about this years ago. If you don't think there is a lot of risk using XP at home or worse yet in a factory I think your mistaken. Remember viruses can also enter systems via a USB drive.

Companies should demand different operating system choices from their suppliers. 

But everone is afraid to deviate from windows.

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