We are only days after the latest ransomware attack, and the issue which was hidden in the shallows, for a while now, was brought to life by this attack.
Visiting the Microsoft support web pages pops up first and foremost the following alert:
"A wide-spread ransomware attack, WannaCrypt, targets out-of-date Windows devices. Given the severity of this threat, immediately update your Windows devices."
And this is where the issue has been hiding.
Since April 2014 MSFT has stopped regular updates to a world-wide-spread-installation of Windows XP. MSFT also did the right thing and offered it’s latest offering, Windows 10, as a free update for a while. It needed people to get off Windows XP wagon.
But hey, easily said than done.
Legacy software and databases for countless companies were not easy to migrate. Time constraints to systems running 24×7 as well as human reluctance to change something that’s running just fine, and here we are 3 years later with Windows XP systems still very much alive. MSFT very much moved along during these years.
Such systems continued their daily grind for 3 years unperturbed by the dismissed system and security updates. Such systems may have developed various issues, due to various other programs being installed on top of the ones already existing. And I’m sure such systems were always somewhere in the minds of their administrators as a disaster waiting to happen.
Case in point:
- this Windows XP installation which, coincidence or not, since Friday refuses to start the legacy program which was run day in day out for the past 3 years
- this system didn’t had system updates installed for several years before the April 2014 MSFT deadline
- this system refuses to connect to any MSFT support web addresses by it’s Internet Explorer, but it does so just fine by Google Chrome
- that’s a perfect case of “chicken or egg” – disturbingly needing it’s system updates – to which, nicely and promptly, is being refused access by MSFT
- no Googled solution worked: IE stats reset and history cleared, Winsock stack cleared, .Net 4 installed, proxy disabled, firewall disabled, various programs removed
Network diagnostics keep returning, over and over, the same error:
- HTTPS and FTP: Error 12031 – the connection with the server was reset
In conclusion there’s no conclusion: classic case of Windows XP system which needs an update but is not able to get it!
Why has MSFT stopped Windows XP updates!
Is MSFT accountable?