Microsoft XP is retiring on April 8 and this will not only affect individuals and corporations using the nearly 14 year old operating system, but Britain’s public-sector bodies will be at an increased risk of hacking attacks and malware infections.
According to Jonathan Ashworth, shadow Cabinet Office minister, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the NHS in England and Scotland will continue using Windows XP even after the April 8 deadline and according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests neither HMRC or NHS are going to pay the hefty per system charges levied by Microsoft for securing the thousands of systems deployed within their network.
Despite this users within HMRC and NHS will be allowed to access the internet using Internet Explorer 6 from their vulnerable Windows XP systems.
Jonathan said that “Ministers have dropped the ball and this could lead to a hackers’ free-for-all with people’s personal data. Millions of families will be fearful that their private health and tax information could be stolen as a result of the government’s failing computer protection programs.”
“Ministers must urgently disclose how many people could be at risk and what action is being taken to protect people’s personal details. The country will expect nothing less than clear answers and concerted action”, he added.
Customers interested to continue receiving protection from Microsoft must pay the tech giant $200 (£122) per desktop for year one, $400 (£244) for the next year and $800 (£490) for a third year for dedicated support.
As per latest reports more than 29 percent of the desktop computers worldwide run Windows XP and moving all these users to another platform by April deadline is just next to impossible.
[Source: The Guardian]