Concerns about businesses and agencies using Windows XP


by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Updated Sunday, May 4 at 5:28 PM

If you are still running the Windows XP operating system there’s something you need to do.

“You should run, do not walk off of that operating system.  The easiest thing to do - go out and buy yourself a new computer tonight,” explained Christopher Budd, computer security expert at Trend Micro.

Budd says XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft which could mean big trouble.

“Security holes that are being found and have already been found in Windows XP will never be fixed.  And so people can use those to attack and compromise your Windows XP system,” said Budd.

In other words the hackers could have a key to your personal information.  There are reports that the XP system is still on 95% of ATMs and there are big concerns about doctor's offices too.
“Doctors offices tend to be small shops and so they tend to be prime candidates to be running out of date software.  They're a treasure trove of information.  You know, all the information your doctor needs to process your insurance claims is great information that can be used for identity theft,” explained Budd.

We've also learned that 70% of the King County Library System's libraries are running Windows XP.

“You can reasonably expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 vulnerabilities for Windows XP over the span of a year.  So that's 100 holes that a year ago would have been patched and aren't being patched now,” said Budd.

Even emailing from the library's computers could be risky.  Online accounts like banking and utilities are tied to an email address.  If a hacker steals your email login it could open the door to other sensitive account information. 

In its defense, the King County Library System says it's installed extra firewalls and anti-virus software which Budd says is their best option as long as they're going to keep XP running.

The Library System says all of its computers will be switched over by early July.  Budd says the fact there is a plan puts them miles ahead of others who do not.  If you are running Windows XP in your home, it’s time to upgrade.  If you see a business running it that has your personal information, say something.