UK DEFENCE SECRETARY Michael Fallon has claimed that "less than five per cent" of NHS trusts are using Windows XP machines, just six months after it was revealed that 90 per cent were using the defunct OS.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Fallon blamed health trusts for the fact that hospital PCs were left open to the WannaCry exploit that hit one in five NHS trusts on Friday, because of course he did, adding that they were repeatedly warned about cyber threats.
He went on to claim that the NHS was given "a large chunk" of money to improve its security, but failed to mention that, back in May 2015, the UK government announced that it would not extend its Windows XP support agreement with Microsoft for a second year.
These are all pretty bold claims, but the boldest of all is Fallon's assertion that less than five per cent of NHS trusts continue to run Windows XP.
"We're spending around £50m on the NHS cyber systems to improve their security," Fallon said. "We have encouraged NHS trusts to reduce their exposure to the weakest system - the Windows XP - only five per cent, less than five per cent of the trusts, actually use that system any more and there is money available to strengthen their systems."
Hmmm, the INQ is not convinced. We don't just have a hunch that Fallon is a bit of the mark, either, as a Freedom of Information (FoI) request outed by Citrix in December revealed that 90 per cent of NHS Trusts are still running Windows XP PCs.
What's more, the data confirmed that 24 trusts are still not sure when they'll migrate from Windows XP to a newer version of Microsoft's OS, so it's unlikely they have managed to do so within the last six months.
14 per cent of NHS trusts said they would be transitioning to a new operating system by the end of 2016 while 29 per cent pledged to make the move sometime this year.
A Motherboard report from September 2016 also revealed the NHS' continued reliance on unsupported Windows XP machines and named and shamed some of the culprits.
This list included East Sussex Healthcare, which as of September had 413 Windows XP machines in use, Sheffield's Children's hospital with 1,290, and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust in London with 10,800 Windows XP-powered PCs.
During his Marr interview, Fallon has refused to deny that Britain's nuclear submarines use Windows XP. Instead, he said the submarine's were "safe", adding that they operated "in isolation" when out on patrol.
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