Saturday 13 May 2017

UK's Government PCs Were Open To the Hackers AS Windows XP Withdraws Its Support

Windows XP

The Government Digital Service will not extend its £5.5m deal with Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP, leaving government computers that still run on the obsolete operating system at risk from hackers.

The service said ending the support meant “weaknesses that are found in unsupported products will remain unpatched and will be exploitable by relatively low-skilled attackers”.

Microsoft withdrew its extended support programme for Windows XP, its 14-year-old operating system, in April 2014. Given the number of Windows XP PCs still being used in government and businesses at the time, Microsoft provided paid-for extended support on a one-off basis.

The Crown Commercial Service bought a year’s extension of support, which includes security updates crucial for keeping hackers at bay, for £5.5m last year to give government departments 12 months to safely migrate from XP.

A year on, the Government Digital Service has decided not to extend that support. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer said: “Technology leaders met last month and took a collective decision to not extend the support arrangement for 2015. The current support agreement ended in April 2015.”

Each government department with XP machines are expected to seek deals for support with Microsoft directly, which could end up costing the taxpayer more.



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