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Met Police still running Windows XP on 18,000 PCs

THE MET POLICE is still using Windows XP on 18,000 PCs, having upgraded just 1,000 to more secure operating systems since December 2016

Indeed, it would appear that the pace of change is slowing, with Metropolitan Police using Windows XP on 35,000 PCs in April 2015, 27,000 in August 2016, and 19,000 in December last year, according to Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests. 

What’s more, instead of upgrading to Windows 10, the Metropolitan Police is upgrading to the already out-of-date Windows 8, with just eight PCs apparently upgraded to the more secure Windows 10, which will enjoy extended support until October 2026. 

According to Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives’ Steve O’Connell, GLA Conservatives’ spokesman for policing and crime, Windows XP remains the biggest single operating system in use across the Metropolitan Police.

“The force has updated 14,450 computers with Windows 8.1, and a further eight with Windows 10. However, 18,293 devices still use the old software,” claimed the Conservatives in a statement. “However, 18,293 devices still use the old software.”

The information was obtained by GLA Conservatives through a written question to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Connell claimed that the slow progress in migrating from Windows XP put the Metropolitan Police’s entire IT estate at risk from cyber attacks.

“The recent cyber-attacks on Parliament and the NHS show what a serious matter this is. The Met is working towards upgrading its software but in its current state it’s like a fish swimming in a pool of sharks. 

“The recent patch issued my Microsoft and the Information Commissioner’s Office audit shows there is significant industry concern. It is vital the Met is given the resources to step up its upgrade timeline before we see another cyber-attack with nationwide security implications.”

The news was released by GLA Conservatives as another, new form of ransomware spread globally. Similar to, but not the same as, the Petya ransomware, it spreads via a combination of techniques, including phishing, compromised software updates and stolen US National Security Agency exploits. µ

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