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  1. #1
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    Any new security problems with XP?

    Hello all,

    Ever since MS poured Win XP updates down the toilet a while back, I have not seen ANY articles/statements by anyone that this has caused any problem at all (in spite of all those dire predictions of doom). So I have now setup an older system w/ XP, equipped it with the usual security suite protection and doing the usual web surfing, just to see if anything happens. So far, nothing. Any comments?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpetery05 View Post
    ...So I have now setup an older system w/ XP, equipped it with the usual security suite protection and doing the usual web surfing, just to see if anything happens. So far, nothing...
    The concern w/ XP end-of-support is mainly to do with average "Joe Bloggs" users who have no real understanding about security.

    You could probably continue using XP indefinitely provided you don't get sucked in by the security exploits, but one problem is that the 3rd party security providers (Norton, AVG, Avast, Trend-Micro, etc.) might discontinue support for XP at any time without warning.

    It sounds like you are a fairly experienced and knowledgeable user, so it is likely you will avoid problems in any case.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    ↑ The most sensible and well-reasoned post I've seen on the subject for a long time.

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    Still use XP in a VM (and typing this to you know in it). Along with Sandboxie (thus, I'm double-sandboxed), and, as others have said, use a few good tools (I use privoxy and Chameleon (older version; newer version doesn't work so well for this) to protect against fingerprinting. I don't run any anti-virus or anti-trojan programs anymore since, well, I delete my VMs regularly (recover from a gold standard; takes around 5 to 10 seconds; no joke). I'm sure you can find a Virtual Player (or Box; lol) to run your own VMs as well within XP.

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    I never stopped using it, on many systems, it's the user not the OS that makes ALL the difference. More recent OSes have many more internal security roadblocks to help the users who are more susceptible to the social engineering that succeeds in getting malware installed. So while it can be said that Windows 10 is in all likelihood more secure, what does that mean to someone who walks softly and carries a big stick? Nothing.

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    Even people who walk softly and carry a big stick can be bushwhacked......

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    I don't think so, or if so, it has never happened. Part of the analysis is to identify the only avenues that are available for ingress; basically there are three. I watch those and nothing else. Buford Pusser faced considerably more physical threat and danger than I ever will so perhaps not the best association, but the sentiment it right.

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    There is, in reality, no sure fire way to protect yourself 100% and guaranteed so long as you are online or other folks has assess to your system. You can approach things smartly and thus be reasonably protected. Even the scheme that I've implemented doesn't protect against keyloggers from drive-by browsing. Frequently deleting the VM and also compartmentalizing the browsing itself (each Sandboxie session has a purpose and is reasonably isolated from the other and all isolated from the host) along with rudimentary firewall and other apps mentioned is the one that best fits my bill. If you are really pushing your system (i.e., go where angels fear to tread), then maybe some added programs including a decent anti-virus program may help. Still, I say, work smart; not hard.

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    To reply to the original poster, no I have not seen any reports of XP exploits newly released. This will become increasing lower likelihood as XP users on the web dwindle (14-17% last I looked). After all how many Win9x exploits are still being released---there are a few users online still. But it will be several years until XP's final numbers get so low.

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    It can happen here

    If you go online with XP to anywhere except Microsoft & Adobe etc., then you're be running a very insecure operating system. Microsoft stopped providing security updates to it a year and a half ago. Antivirus vendors are ceasing to support it. No antivirus, anti-spyware program and firewall is enough to protect you in the long term. Hey it, might appear to run fine for a day, a month, or a year. Then you find all your personal data has been stolen by a hacker, or viruses sent to everyone on your contact list including your boss, or malware has been installed via, say Java (no longer security updated for XP for a while, it so it will have known security holes) and you have to maybe pay scammers $400 to remove their malware before it deletes all your files.

    Being geeky is not a protection these days, it might have been back when you had to click to download a virus or dodgy e-mail attachment to get infected. These days, Flash, Java, and even some media files, e.g. certain picture files are used as attack vectors. Only patching the operating system itself, regularly, can protect against the latter sort of infection, and even more esoteric buffer overflow etc. attacks.

    How much do you value your data, your privacy, and the privacy of your contacts? At less than ~$150, apparently, if you use XP on the internet due to not wanting to buy a new operating system that will keep you secure until 2025. That's about $15 a year, less if you get a bargain. In spite of all Microsoft's flaws, that's good value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadsteve View Post
    <snip>

    How much do you value your data, your privacy, and the privacy of your contacts? At less than ~$150, apparently, if you use XP on the internet due to not wanting to buy a new operating system that will keep you secure until 2025. That's about $15 a year, less if you get a bargain. In spite of all Microsoft's flaws, that's good value.
    It involves buying a new computer(s), too, as most XP machines won't run Win 8.x, let alone Win 10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    Even people who walk softly and carry a big stick can be bushwhacked......
    Gotta watch out for them bunyips mate (those b's could be lurking in any waterhole).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadsteve View Post
    .... Then you find all your personal data has been stolen by a hacker, or viruses sent to everyone on your contact list including your boss, or malware has been installed via, say Java (no longer security updated for XP for a while, it so it will have known security holes) and you have to maybe pay scammers $400 to remove their malware before it deletes all your files.

    .... Flash, Java, and even some media files, e.g. certain picture files are used as attack vectors. Only patching the operating system itself, regularly, can protect against the latter sort of infection, ....
    Just because you are running a newer Windows OS than XP does not preclude you from getting attacked via all of these things. Indeed, Flash, Java, Adobe Reader, etc. have little to do with XP specifically and more to do with wide spread installations and their own security baggage that allows them to be used in attacks. Constant patches are an indication of reliability issues (poor coding and design exploited by hackers).

    Microsoft's own data certainly supports the idea that XP is much less secure from certain attacks than its newer OS', but for the most part it is user behavior that is primarily responsible for infections not outdated OS, or anti-malware apps.

    XP will undoubtedly be used online for many years to come (especially in Germany if patterns hold true) despite insecurity, and not just because people are unwilling to shell out the bucks for a new OS and as noted realistically a new PC in most cases. They will do it because they see no special threat, it won't happen to them, they don't discard something that works or they do not want to learn a new OS. For them giving advice and support will be rewarding for some.

    If you want to discuss bargain then Linux (and MacOS) is the bargain, Windows is a rip. But you have some nifty Windows apps that do not have equally nifty Linux apps and you still have to learn a new OS. Way less malware, but if Linux ever started to penetrate the market that would change.

  16. #14
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    anyway to get the update pack2 or pack3 for xp somehow or somewhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mosie View Post
    anyway to get the update pack2 or pack3 for xp somehow or somewhere?
    You can download the installer for Service Pack 3 from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl...ils.aspx?id=24

    Don't be misled by the webpage title "Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers"; the download is simply the installer, and will work on any 32bit XP that has SP1 or SP2.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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