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F-Secure: Malware-riddled Windows XP needs to 'hurry up and die'

The firm can't believe 'the beast' hasn't died, and urges users to upgrade
Wed Jun 18 2014, 10:14

HELSINKI: F-SECURE CAN'T QUITE BELIEVE that Microsoft's 2001 operating system (OS) Windows XP is still in circulation and being used regularly by millions of consumers and businesses, due to its insufficient level of security.

Speaking at a roundtable event at the F-Secure labs in Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday, the firm's chief security researcher Mikko Hypponen said that the Windows XP OS can't go soon enough.

Mikko Hyponnen speaks about end of support for Windows XP

"I can't wait for Windows XP to die." he said. "I'm glad Microsoft stopped shipping updates. I'm mad at Microsoft for shipping updates after end of support, it should try and kill this beast. But it's not dead yet."

Hypponen thinks it's ridiculous that Microsoft Windows XP still has around 20 percent market share of all computers.

"[There] really is a big difference in security levels between Windows XP and [Windows] 8.1 and we should be getting rid of these old systems," Hypponen added. "Why didn't [businesses] wake up to this two years ago? It's surprising how slow governments are and also large companies everywhere. [It's] going to take a while to get rid of this headache and I can't wait."

As part of his views on Windows XP end of life, Hypponen also made a connection between Microsoft's 13-year-old PC OS and Google's Linux based Android mobile OS.

He compared Android smartphone sales to those of Windows XP back in the turn of the century, being a number one seller, while also noting the similarity in security levels despite popularity.

"The fact security sucks doesn't hurt sales. Most phones being sold right now are Android and they are the only mobiles with a mobile malware platform," he added.

At the F-Secure Labs today, the security company also noted that it manages an "outrageous" 100,000 malware samples every day, many of which are found targeting Android devices, and it's becoming impossible to manage "in the old fashioned way", thus it is increasingly relying on artificial intelligence in the cloud to detect these threats. µ


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