A few days ago, the source code of the legendary operating system Windows XP was leaked to the public on the internet and shared through the torrent network. Normally, the leak of such an operating system’s source code seriously affects the security capabilities when hackers can pry in it to find vulnerabilities, security vulnerabilities to exploit.
But for the vast majority of casual users, exposing the Windows XP source code is nothing to be afraid of. This old operating system with nearly 20 years old is no longer popular and has been replaced by more famous versions such as Windows 7 or Windows 10. Moreover, this operating system is no longer compatible. with today’s new hardware.
It turns out the harm from the leaked source code of this old operating system is far more frightening than many people imagine.
While no longer favored by individual users, a large number of businesses and organizations around the world are still using Windows XP on a daily basis. More frighteningly, this operating system is still running for systems that are important to everyone’s daily life.
Did you know that airports, ATMs, banks, financial institutions, hospitals and even industrial plants around the world, are still the ones using Windows XP to this day. or not?
The familiar wallpaper of Windows XP at Heathrow Airport, UK
A series of photos taken by users show that, until recently, Windows XP still appears at many famous airports in the world such as Singapore’s Changi, Britain’s Heathrow or Belgium’s Zeventem Brussels Airport. Airport operations can be seriously affected if hackers exploit vulnerabilities in this operating system to launch an attack.
Pier control panel at Zaventem Airport Brussels, Belgium.
Not only airport, Windows XP is also still used in many systems of the hospital. In 2016, the network operated by Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia, was infected with a virus that targeted computers using Windows XP. The attack forced medical personnel to temporarily process blood, tissue, and urine samples manually.
But hackers’ favorite Windows XP devices are probably ATMs. These machines are filled with money inside and are also full of zero-day vulnerabilities (vulnerabilities no one yet known to fix or fix). Not only that, even when there is a patch, these machines cannot remotely patch, instead, IT professionals will have to go to each machine and install the patch manually on them.
According to one report, hackers can bypass the defenses and security equipment of older ATMs in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.
Unfortunately for someone who was inserting the ATM card to withdraw money, the machine was restarted. Waiting now is no longer happiness.
Also, even though Windows XP is no longer popular among individual users, a study estimated that, until last month, the old operating system was still operating in about 1.26% of laptops and desktops across the world. world.
The popularity of Windows XP in device systems is so important to everyone’s lives that even though the operating system did not receive “official” Microsoft support from 2014, until five Last year, Microsoft continued to release security fixes and anti-virus solutions for the platform.
The most significant of which was an emergency patch released in 2017 aimed at preventing a large-scale attack like WannaCry from happening again. Previously, this ransom malware infected 75,000 computers in 99 countries around the world, including hospitals, carriers Telefonica, FedEx as well as other large businesses.
While individual users can quickly upgrade and change the operating system on their devices, for businesses and organizations, these changes are not as easy as the devices themselves. This device is still operating continuously every day. So, perhaps officially dead, but the existence of Windows XP and its security support will go on for many more years.
Fortunately, despite using an old operating system and many security flaws, most businesses have a strategy to manage large-scale device upgrades and isolating devices. the most vulnerable system, to minimize the impact of attacks that exploit security vulnerabilities.
Refer to The Conversation