With the end of Windows XP support from Microsoft in sight, we are hearing more news about vulnerabilities affecting the operating system. FireEye Labs reported a new vulnerability that targets the operating system last day. According to the researchers in the lab, Dan Caselden and Xiaobo Chen, the bugs are targeted specifically at Windows XP operating system and Server 2003. They say that hackers may take advantage of this vulnerability and computers running on Windows XP are under threat.
A post made by the researchers stated, “This local privilege escalation vulnerability is used in the wild in conjunction with an Adobe Reader exploit that appears to target a patched vulnerability. The exploit targets Adobe Reader 9.5.4, 10.1.6, 11.0.02 and prior on Windows XP SP3. Those running the latest versions of Adobe Reader should not be affected by this exploit. Post exploitation, the shell code decodes a PE payload from the PDF, drops it in the temporary directory, and executes it.”
According to Windows XP help center, the only fix to keep away this trouble is to upgrade the operating system. You may go for any of the operating systems from Windows like Windows 7, Windows Vista or the latest Windows 8. Microsoft is already aware of the vulnerability and suggests users to install the latest updates and do regular malware scan of the operating system. A post by SANS Internet Storm Center reads, “If you are still running Windows XP, there is no project on your list that is more important than migrating to Windows 7 or 8. The “never do what you can put off until tomorrow” project management approach on this is on a ticking clock, if you leave it until April comes you’ll be migrating during active hostilities.”
Microsoft has already decided that April 8, 2014 would be the last date for Windows XP support. After this date, no Windows XP operating system in the world would receive security patches from the company. The company would also stop technical support for Windows XP customers. This means that the operating system could become more vulnerable to threats and other security issues after this date.
The software giant is already campaigning hard to upgrade existing Windows XP users to any of the higher versions of Windows. Many users have already upgraded their computers according to Windows XP help center. However, reports say that still, around 20 percent of computers run on Windows XP, which means millions of computers still run on this old operating system.