In the last couple of weeks we’ve covered both Heartbleed and Windows XP stopping their security updates and they are both pretty serious issues that need addressing.
However, Heartbleed has managed to achieve a substantial amount of media attention at just the wrong time, with people prioritising the issue and ignoring the fact that Windows XP is still widely being used.
Ultimately, it seems quite surprising that news channels and other media outlets would brand Heartbleed as such an important vulnerability when Windows XP could pose much more of a threat.
The problem is that Heartbleed’s consequences became apparent instantaneously, with the words “credit cards” and “passwords” making front page news.
On the other hand, April 8th brought about little visible changes in the operations of Windows XP despite security updates disappearing.
It’s clear that, without visible threats, people are prepared to take risks. They might have spent the entire weekend backing up files preparing for Heartbleed but completely forgot that all of this was happening on their Windows XP PC.
The crux of this post is that Heartbleed mustn’t act as a cloak that covers up the true threat of continually using Windows XP. Hackers are far more likely to be preparing for future flaws in Windows XP than wasting their time with a glitch in OpenSSL.
The longer you decide to stick with Windows XP, the bigger the risk. It’s something that can’t be changed and won’t get better, so make this your top priority if you’re worried about online security!