“In roughly five weeks, Microsoft will end support for its popular and long-lived Windows XP desktop operating system. And the company has a message for users clinging to their XP systems. It’s time to move on.”
If you’re using network-attached storage, video surveillance equipment, or remote router management software, beware of dodgy firmware—it’s become ground zero for hacker exploits, as recent debacles with Asus and Linksys routers emphatically illustrate. The message is clear: In 2014, vulnerable routers, NAS boxes, and other connected devices are leaving our home networks wide open to attack.
Windows XP has but 59 days left to live.
After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)
If you’re still running XP, it’s really time to upgrade. Now.
Good news for procrastinators! Microsoft had previously announced that Security Essentials for Windows XP would no longer be updated after April 2014. This past week they reversed themselves, announcing that they would continue to issue new signatures and updates for Security Essentials for XP until mid-2015. This means if you are using Microsoft Security Essentials for your antivirus, that will continue to provide a measure of protection for a while longer. It does NOT mean that XP will be a safe place to be after April, but it’s better than nothing. Read the whole article if you like.
According to the common wisdom on passwords, you should pick different passwords for different accounts. But if your way of remembering your passwords is to make them slight variations of one another, you could be making hackers’ lives easier than you might think.
After ten years of study, researchers concluded that security holes in Adobe and Java are responsible for 66 percent of all vulnerabilities actively exploited in Windows. Vendors patch these flaws as quickly as they can, but their hard work doesn’t help if you don’t stay up to date.
The article talks about a Botnet that stole two million passwords, but the amazing thing was how bad many of the passwords were! “Among the worst were: 123456, 123456789, 1234 and, “password.” I know that nobody you know is using “password” for a password, right? Right. Now go change it. Sheesh.
Here’s a good article from PCWorld on why XP users need to move on. It was great, but it’s time to go!
“Windows XP holdouts: 3 reasons you must upgrade now. Yes, now.”
Here’s the second notice from US-CERT about an increasing number of ransomware infections. The malware has the ability to find and encrypt files located within shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage drives. If one computer on a network becomes infected, mapped network drives could also become infected. Victims are told they have three days to pay the attacker through a third-party payment method or they’ll lose their data.
The takeaway is, do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
Read all about it at http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-309A
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