End of Life

Whenever a Microsoft Operating System, application (e.g., browser) loses extended support it's imperative that you upgrade.

"What does end of extended support mean for you? Microsoft no longer issues security updates for any version."

Mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015
Windows Server 2003 support
ended July 14, 2015.

January 14, 2020
Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015, but extended support won't end until January 14, 2020.

After the April 8, 2014 some Microsoft products are no longer supported; Windows XP, Server SBS 2003, Exchange 2003, Office 2003 … It is estimated that 30% of desktop operating systems are Windows XP.

Why you should be concerned.

Here’s a possible scenario.

Let’s say that Windows 7 shares some code with Windows XP and an exploit is discovered that effects both. The security patch will be released for Windows 7 but not the discontinued Windows XP. Attackers can reverse engineer the patch to discover the effected code and then test the exploit against Windows XP.

This is not as unlikely as it might sound.
“Between July 2012 and July 2013 Windows XP was an affected product in 45 Microsoft security bulletins, of which 30 also affected Windows 7 and Windows 8” *

It’s not advisable to have end of life products on your network. If attackers get into a vulnerable machine it makes it easier to exploit other machines on your network.

Hopefully most folks are either upgrading or shutting down machines running vulnerable O/S and/or applications. If you have to run any of these, I suggest that you isolate that machine. If you must use a machine with a vulnerable application like Internet Explorer 8 then avoid that application. In the case of a vulnerable browser you can use a browser that does get security updates.

* Microsoft Security Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx



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