LONDON BOYS IN BLUE the Metropolitan Police may be armed with tasers and extendable batons, but they are backed up by Windows XP in a lot of cases, which is a really bad thing.
Windows XP no longer gets official security updates, and Microsoft sees it as the sort of thing that should be scraped off shoes before walking on the carpet.
The company will let people pay to keep using it, but only on a case-by-case basis. We do not know the police arrangement with Microsoft, but the Met needs to accelerate the updating of its computer systems as it puts Londoners' information at risk, according to London Assembly member Andrew Boff.
The Met currently runs 27,000 computers on XP supported by paid-for security patches as opposed to the free updates that supported software would get.
The force has upgraded only 8,000 computers since 2015, and has plans to update a further 6,000 this September. This is not good enough.
"Operating systems age more like milk than wine, and Windows XP is well past its sell-by date. The Met should have stopped using Windows XP in 2014 when extended support ended, and to hear that 27,000 computers still use it is worrying," said Boff.
"My major concern is the security of Londoners' information on this dangerously out-of-date system, but I would also like to know how much money the Met has wasted on bespoke security updates.
"I also question the choice to upgrade to Windows 8.1; this is neither the newest nor the most used version of Windows. Staff are likely to be more familiar with Windows 10, but most importantly it will be supported further into the future."
Boff got the numbers and the information on the bleak situation from the mayor, who confirmed the position and said that there will be just 21,000 Met machines running the antique software by the end of September.
He added that his manifesto mentioned a more efficient use of resources, and that the Met police is currently in the process of clearing out desktops that cannot run Windows 8.1.
Let's assume, or at least hope, that if these PCs hit eBay they will have been comprehensibly wiped. µ
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