Author Topic: End of support of Windows XP  (Read 21341 times)

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Offline panhouska

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End of support of Windows XP
« on: March 08, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »
Will Avast help me somehow in the matter that I'll still have Windows XP after the 8th April? Is it too risky to not upgrade it or is Avast going to patch some most serious flaws in order to the PC be at least satisfactory safe? Because otherwise the idea of protection doesn't make much sense - like to guard all the windows to defend the house against the enemy and to boast how good I am at that but on the other hand to leave the door widely open and unnoticed.

Offline Pondus

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 09:23:19 PM »
Asked several times here..... do a forum search

Avast will continue to work on XP     ;)


Offline DavidR

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 09:27:18 PM »
Try a forum search or browse as this subject has been discussed recently.
For some time there has been considerable FUD about the end of windows support for XP.

Whilst this one isn't directly about it, there is some general information related to it.
http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=147021.0
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Offline Randissimo

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 01:12:18 AM »
It depends on what you're doing. If you're doing serious business with your computer, imho you can't let yourself use an unpatched, oudated operating system, especially if you're planing to use it with network/internet access.
If you're only a casual consumer writing some mails to family/friends, play games and you don't use internet shopping/online banking on XP, then it shouldn't do much harm for yourself if you continue on using XP.
However, your computer might be used in a bot net, so if you can, please either turn internet access off or switch to Linux or get yourself for ~$55/€40 a Windows 7 license.

Supporters of "security software" might see it differently, but in case of doubt, you're always better off with a still supported operating system.
Too bad my crystal ball is missing, so I can't predict the actual future, however, if you have the option to switch, do it and let others do the "security testings".


Offline Kesetyan

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 10:56:11 AM »
Panhouska,

Whilst it is true that the risks with XP are increased when Microsoft support finishes there is no need to panic if you take reasonable care.  Remember that a certain amount of hype over the matter is in the interest of those who want you to purchase their products so there may be a little over egging of the pudding.

The major security software developers are maintaining support at least for the time being but make sure you keep any of their products you use up to date.  Ensure you have an up to date anti-virus program such as Avast and a Firewall.  Having an on-demand anti-malware program such as Malwarebytes is also a good idea.  Scan your system regularly (say weekly) and at any time when your system appears not to behave as normal.

When on-line, be careful which sites you visit and what links you click.  Be cautious too regarding emails, particularly unexpected ones from unknown senders - again, do not click any links you are not certain about.  Even emails from from known sources can be risky as the sender's computers can be compromised so be suspicious of any links contained and check back with the sender that the email is genuinely from them.  Criminals also pretend to be banks, courriers and various official bodies and send out emails with clickable traps - always suspect emails that contain links and ask for sensitive personal information (remember banks will not ask you for passwords and and other personal details by telephone or email) - again contact the organisation by other means (telephone or the official website) to check the validity of the email.

Safer still, but continuing to use XP for your personal tasks, is to keep all on-line activity restricted to using a Linux live disc.  There are several distributions available - download the iso file and burn the image to disc.  Set the boot order of your computer so that CD/DVD is before HDD and boot your computer from the live disc when you want to go on-line.  You can disable your connection within XP so that it is never connected while your Linux disc will be able to connect when you boot it.

In addition to these precautions, ensure you do regular backups of your data and create a new image of your operating system drive after any major changes.  You will require a good backup program for this (I use Macrium Reflect which is excellent and quite user friendly) - store the backups on external media (say a USB external drive) - you will also need to create an emergency boot cd using the backup program and store it in a safe place - should the worst happen, you can boot your system from the cd, access your backup image when you connect the external storage, run the backup and restore your system.

Remember, most compromised systems are due to user error and can happen with the most up to date systems - the strategy above should minimize risks/

Offline Cluster-Lizard

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 02:20:56 PM »
One thing I haven't found the answer to about support ending for WinXP is will all the existing security and other updates remain available via Windows Update?

I've been think for sometime about doing a clean reinstall of WinXP on one of my machines and there could be many other very good reasons for doing the same thing for other users. System crashes and particularly those wanting to keep a WinXP installation which, after all, users have paid for, to be able to use legacy software/hardware etc are two obvious reasons that come to mind. If these previous updates are going to disappear then what are the options? 

   

Offline Kesetyan

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 02:57:51 PM »
One thing I haven't found the answer to about support ending for WinXP is will all the existing security and other updates remain available via Windows Update?
Cluster-Lizard,
An image backup of your system drive, created immediately after the final Windows update for XP, will have all the updates.  Save the image to a secure external device and you will be able to restore it should the need arise.  If you want a clean install of XP, do it before the final update and image backup but make sure you have all your data backed up, as well as program installers and additional drivers not included on your installation disc.

Offline Hammey

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 04:06:27 PM »
Hi yes all the Windows XP updates will still be available through windows update if at some point in time you have to format your PC.
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Offline AdrianH

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 04:22:12 PM »
Fresh install > add Deep Freeze and Data Igloo > end of problem . Nice new system every time you boot up, no malware, no defragging, no maintenance ............ just enjoy using your system.
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Offline Cluster-Lizard

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 05:51:54 PM »
Yes, I'd thought about creating a system backup image or even cloning the whole HDD to a spare after a fresh reinstall as options because I've been meaning to do one or the other anyway. However if the old WinXP updates are still going to be available via Windows Update as Hammey said then that is good news.

I'll definitely be looking into AdrianH's suggestion too.

Thanks all for the info, very helpful.   

Offline Alievitan

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 07:36:44 PM »
MS also said they will issue Malicious Removal Tool patches through July 2015, which are patches that remove specific malwares.  I think the thought process is that even if they no longer issue new OS patches, it is in everyone interest to prevent known mass infections aka botnets. 
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Offline Randissimo

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 01:03:28 PM »
Quote from: Kesetyan
Whilst it is true that the risks with XP are increased when Microsoft support finishes there is no need to panic if you take reasonable care.  Remember that a certain amount of hype over the matter is in the interest of those who want you to purchase their products so there may be a little over egging of the pudding.
"reasonable care" alone can't do anything against security holes. However, you're right in the last statement of this part: especially AV companies and supporters of them tend to posh things up, trying to ensure you, that their "internet security" and other "security software" will protect you from any malware.

Fresh install > add Deep Freeze and Data Igloo > end of problem . Nice new system every time you boot up, no malware, no defragging, no maintenance ............ just enjoy using your system.
On which basis can you ensure that the machine isn't already infected when you set it up or when you would use it with network access after end of support? Just because your Antivirus and any other security software you're using for system check doesn't find anything and you don't see irregularities in network traffic or CPU/GPU load or any other weird behavior, it doesn't mean that you are "virus free".
Heck, even an outdated network printer firmware could be used for exploits even for taping your VOIP-phone (if you want to watch the video without logging in, you can do it here, the video itself on the bottom of the page is in English).
Also, Windows does the defragging and other maintenance tasks automatically.

Quote from: Alievitan
I think the thought process is that even if they no longer issue new OS patches, it is in everyone interest to prevent known mass infections aka botnets.
Right, but it should be regarded as the final grace period to migrate to another OS. If someone has something like a 10 year old computer on which even Windows 7 doesn't run, with about 350-400 dollars or 250-300 euros, he or she could either get a much faster office computer with SSD included or a good tablet which would still be faster with way better energy efficiency than the "museum" hardware he or she is currently using.
There have been many warnings already that the support for Windows XP will end eventually, so if those years haven't been enough to gain at least around 410-460 dollars or 290-340 euros for a newer computer with Windows 7/8.1 OS or less for a tablet, you could at least afford a 4gb usb flash media or a blank CD/DVD to get a still supported (live-)Linux for internet access.

Quote from: Cluster-Lizard
If these previous updates are going to disappear then what are the options?
For the sake of minimizing the risk of being part of a botnet and thus an inconvenience for most users: please either plug it off from the network or switch at least to Linux as a secondary (live) operating system if you need internet access. Even an exploited website or part of it loaded by other websites (for example pictures/ads) could target exploits and it's most likely that the number will increase the longer a system will stay unpatched.

« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 01:32:12 PM by Randissimo »

Offline AdrianH

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 01:44:22 PM »
Quote

On which basis can you ensure that the machine isn't already infected when you set it up or when you would use it with network access after end of support? Just because your Antivirus and any other security software you're using for system check doesn't find anything and you don't see irregularities in network traffic or CPU/GPU load or any other weird behavior, it doesn't mean that you are "virus free".
Heck, even an outdated network printer firmware could be used for exploits.
Also, Windows does the defragging and other maintenance tasks automatically.


Simple......... FRESH INSTALL of XP > Install Deep Freeze > Install other apps  ........... or are you now insinuating that all Windows XP discs are infected as supplied from the fatory?

( On this basis, no machine should ever be turned on after delivery, no matter what the OS. )

Then using Deep Freeze the system is always returned to a perfect state at each reboot, no matter what you meet, or what anyone tries to do.

Defragging is NEVER automated on my systems ,  I choose what runs, and when.

Reading all this, and your other posts here it would appear that the only course of action for every PC user in the world, is to give up and stop using any IT product ever again.

Being careful is only right and proper , paranoia is a problem.
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Offline Cluster-Lizard

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 02:01:22 PM »
Randissimo

If you haven't got any AV or anti-malware on your PC then you're vulnerable whatever OS you're using. If you really think that when MS drop support for WinXP that overnight it suddenly becomes super vulernable to the threats out there that is just ludicrous scare mongering.

I know people who up until a couple of years ago were running a business still using Win98 PCs for some purposes without any more securirty issues than anyone else.

Buying a new machine and paying for yet another MS OS licence no matter how 'small'  the cost (a highly debatable 'solution' ) is what this is actually all about, not security. Over thirty percent of computers world wide are still using WinXP. Very obviously MS don't like that so even though we have paid our money we all have to dance to their tune and 'upgrade' whether we like it or not.

Offline Randissimo

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Re: End of support of Windows XP
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 02:42:32 PM »
Simple......... FRESH INSTALL of XP > Install Deep Freeze > Install other apps  ........... or are you now insinuating that all Windows XP discs are infected as supplied from the fatory?
No, but it could be infected the moment you turn internet access on to visit websites. Even if you get a "clean state" image which you can revert back anytime, it doesn't mean that you can't get infected the moment you're visiting a website.

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Then using Deep Freeze the system is always returned to a perfect state at each reboot, no matter what you meet, or what anyone tries to do.
"a perfect state" - until you get exploited and have to reboot again. The main problem is, most serious malware nowadays don't make signs like shutting down your computer or make some popups saying that you either need protection or to speed up your computer or fix registry/dll/etc. errors. You could be (temporarily) in a botnet and you would have no way of knowing, because your AV solutions will tell you that "everything's ok" and/or you will revert to a "clean state".

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Reading all this, and your other posts here it would appear that the only course of action for every PC user in the world, is to give up and stop using any IT product ever again.
No, the only course of action is to update software/firmware/OS in case there is a security risk.

Quote
Being careful is only right and proper , paranoia is a problem.
Refusing to update a security hole is another problem.

Quote from: Cluster-Lizard
If you haven't got any AV or anti-malware on your PC then you're vulnerable whatever OS you're using. If you really think that when MS drop support for WinXP that overnight it suddenly becomes super vulernable to the threats out there that is just ludicrous scare mongering.
I didn't wrote anything about not using AV, it's just reckless imho to keep on using XP with network access after end of support.
Also, it doesn't have to be overnight, but over time the chances are high likely that even script kiddies could exploit them based on some manuals available on the internet.

Quote
Buying a new machine and paying for yet another MS OS licence no matter how 'small'  the cost (a highly debatable 'solution' ) is what this is actually all about, not security. Over thirty percent of computers world wide are still using WinXP. Very obviously MS don't like that so even though we have paid our money we all have to dance to their tune and 'upgrade' whether we like it or not.
You should be glad that Microsoft even extended support or can you tell me about another (commercial) operating system which has that long support cycles? Also, there's a limit to how much patching can minimize the risk of exploits and there is a chance that some of the fixes might break your machine. From time to time, you need to upgrade to a more modern system, which has more and better self-protection measures.