April 8th is D-Day for Windows XP, as the operating system goes out of support — it isn’t the end of the world, as security companies have pledged extended support. There are other options customers can utilize to continue running the OS relatively safely, as well, though I still do not recommend it.
Security researchers at Netcraft are expressing concern about websites that are still using the aging XP. “Thousands of websites are still hosted on Windows XP computers, despite the operating system reaching the end of its extended support period today”, the researchers state.
The company cites a recent survey it conducted that reveled more than 6,000 sites still running on Windows XP. While Netcraft points out that many people affiliate this with China, only three percent were actually hosted there, while the US topped this list of shame.
Worse, the firm points out that “Notably, there are 14 US government websites still running on Windows XP, including a webmail system used by the State of Utah. Unsupported web-facing Windows XP servers are likely to become prime targets for hackers, particularly if any new Windows XP vulnerabilities are discovered, as no security updates will be available to fix them. To afford some breathing space, the UK Government recently struck a £5.5m deal for Microsoft to provide it with an extra year of support for Windows XP, although there are currently no Windows XP-powered websites under the gov.uk top-level domain”.
The news gets worse — more than 50,000 sites were still being hosted on Windows NT4, though a large percentage of these were hosted by one service in Norway. It’s time to move on folks, don’t allow the continued anti-virus support to fool you.