Yet another example of the issues not updating can cause.
Many people are skeptical of calls to update or switch operating systems, such as the one we issued a few weeks ago. They assume that most of the reason for such calls is profit. Year after year, issues from not updating crop up. The most recent one is an exploit that takes advantage of older computers still running XP and other operating systems of a similar vintage.
The exploit is known as the BlueKeep vulnerability. It takes advantage of an open port left by Remote Desktop Services. Though the current malware is being spread by hand, a more robust malware attack is likely. Security experts are warning that not updating could lead to many systems being crippled or hijacked. In fact, many experts believe this could be as bad as the WannaCry exploit in the hands of some bad actors.
Warnings have been issued repeatedly all year.
Microsoft, the NSA and other government agencies have been warning that this exploit was likely all year. They issued several advisories, each stronger than the last. By June 17th, they had switched from strongly worded advice, to a demand for a patch or an upgrade. Unfortunately, not everyone listened. There are currently about 700,000 systems still in need of an update that are vulnerable to the attack.
While the current bad actor has done a bad job implementing their exploit, the next one won’t. And the payload is likely to be more dangerous than a crypto-currency mining program. Also, the very incompetence of the malware coder this time has made this exploit more dangerous. Many of the effected systems have simply crashed, leaving them with the “Blue Screen of Death” and their owners with a lot of clean-up. Updating their systems earlier could have saved them big headaches.
Windows XP is now old enough to vote. If you’re still using it, perhaps it’s time to think about upgrading your infrastructure? Give Problem 86 a call. We’d be happy to make sure that you can still do anything you need, while updating your security, stability, and speed. As a small business ourselves, we understand the need for cost-effective solutions that keep your business running.