Oh Vienna

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

Walked in the cold air
Freezing breath on a window pane
Lying and waiting
A man in the dark in a picture frame
So mystic and soulful.
A voice reaching out in a piercing cry

It stays with you until…..

Windows 7 was released in 2009. The initial project name for it was Blackcomb, changed to Vienna as the delivery moved through the cycle. Succeeding the dog’s dinner that was Windows Vista, Vienna provided conclusive proof that Microsoft had two distinct teams of Desktop Operating System developers – the XP and Windows 7 guys and the Vista and Windows 8 guys.

You ask any IT person and they would be fans of the XP/W7 team in terms of stability and functionality. That has become a very big problem.

It turns out that the WannaCry event was most effective against Windows 7, which almost all victims were running, unpatched. Who can blame them? Both XP and Windows 7 just work; they keep on working and are (comparatively) rock solid.

The trouble is that perceived stability and associated minimised support effort creates an illusion of safety (click hear to see what I mean).

So, no surprise then that the ‘Equation Group’ who may or may not be associated with the NSA and have had a clutch of their naughty toys stolen (by ‘the Shadow Brokers’ mwahahaha) and now put on public display (curated by J Assange Esq. currently at large), targeted default functionality of the file sharing technology enabled on these systems.

This week we are proud to have been described (in the financial press) as ahead of the curve for predicting that unpatched old systems would become a massive problem (TOTW passim.) and pleading with everyone to get with the programme and upgrade and patch. This is basically like being congratulated for saying the sun will rise.

The reasons for not updating and patching are both manifest and complex. Ignorance, laziness, complacency, budget, think that buying a Mac is a waste of money, the evil that is Windows 10 etc.

Put these issues aside. We absolutely promise you that the next swathe of exploits against old Windows installations will not be restricted to SMB tomfoolery. They will be much more serious and ruin your summer holidays.

So this is it, a voice reaching out with a piercing cry, no excuses, if you can’t upgrade it, turn it off. Today.

Who knew that Mr Midge Ure was a soothsayer?  ‘Freezing breath on a window pane, Lying and waiting’ 1981. Life truly imitates Art far more than Art imitates life. Wilde.

If you would like some help with pressing the off button on your XP, Windows 7 or any other out of support operating system, we are here to help. Contact us at:  [email protected] or call 020 7517 3900.

If you are deliberating the issue, just listen to the wise words of Mr Ure. You can do it.

Author: Kevin Whelan

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