Monday , 23 July 2018
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Why Apple’s future’s up on ransomware

This week’s big security story is the so-called Petya ransomware attack. It is not the first such attack, it won’t be the last, and its success will prompt cyber criminals to attack again, and again, and again. In this new threat environment, there are zero excuses for any enterprise, public or private, to be running Windows XP, or any other insecure platform.

Even the cops run Windows XP

Chronic underfunding and a conservative government ideologically committed to cuts mean key U.K. public services remain under threat of cyber attack. In recent weeks, the National Health Service saw its computing systems fail because they relied too much on unprotected Windows systems. This morning we learned that the U.K.’s Metropolitan Police force still uses over 18,000 computers running Windows XP. The key police force of the U.K.’s biggest city is, therefore, currently vulnerable to cyber attack.

How can this be a good thing?

Coming from a government with a record of failure culminating most recently in the dreadful and potentially preventable Grenfell Tower tragedy, final death toll of which remains unknown, this vulnerability is incompetent at best.

Of course, this reliance on dated kit isn’t unique to the U.K. government. A glance at the chaos unleashed across the IT systems of multiple big enterprises by Petya shows you this. The biggest problem seems to be the continued used of older (frequently unsupported) Windows systems by cash-strapped firms struggling to make money in a tough and uncertain economic climate. Yet how much cash do they lose in the event of a successful ransomware attack?

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