Tech Strategy Trends

Dec 30 2009   11:30PM GMT

Windows XP: The Path of Least Resistance for Attacks

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

I’ll let you in on a little secret…Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP. According to the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, Windows XP with Service Pack 3 is 75 percent more likely to be compromised by malware or exploits than 64-bit Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. Windows 7 is more secure than that.

The problem is that Windows XP still accounts for nearly three-fourths of the operating system market. Windows 7 has been a huge success, and that success will continue throughout 2010, but not all regions of the world are likely to adopt the latest and greatest flagship PC operating system from Microsoft at the same rate and that will leave some regions more vulnerable than others.

Malware developers and cyber criminals are a lazy bunch and tend to take the path of least resistance. Regions that lag in adopting Windows 7 and continue to rely on Windows XP will offer attackers pockets of easy targets.

The most affected regions for the Conficker worm were Brazil, China, Russia, India, and Vietnam. F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen says “It’s likely that XP attacks will still be around for a number of years…The easy target will be these ghettos.”

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