Attention Win XP users

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VictoriaF
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Attention Win XP users

Post by VictoriaF »

I have migrated to Windows 7, but still have three old laptops running Windows XP. I will get rid of them at some point, but for now I keep them just in case. If you are like me, you need to know that while Microsoft has stopped updating old OSes automatically, it has recently issued several patches that must be installed manually. The goal of these updates is to curtail recent ransomware epidemics.

Here is a link to Microsoft's update page for OLD platforms: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... -platforms

The page includes three parts, Older platforms table 1 of 3, Older platforms table 2 of 3, and Older platforms table 3 of 3. From each table pick up the updates applicable to your particular OS. For example, for my Win XP SP3 I needed 12 updates.

Victoria
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nedsaid
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by nedsaid »

It is a very good idea to keep your computers up to date. I finally upgraded from Windows XP in 2014. What got me to upgrade was getting the FBI Moneypack Virus at work. IT took my machine and reimaged it. They could not clean the virus. The virus just came right in through the browser, I didn't click a link or anything like that. Hackers probably embedded a legit website with the virus and it came through Windows Explorer. Finally, IT installed Google Chrome on everyone's machine and told all the employees to use Chrome if they wanted to surf the web.

XP was a gigantic security hole three years ago and it must be worse now. If you have a Windows XP machine, don't use it to surf the web unless you don't have anything important on your machine.

I now have Windows 10 on both my desktop and laptop.
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PFInterest
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by PFInterest »

It is incredible how many ppl use XP still.... Talk about inefficiency as well as a HUGE security risk.
azurekep
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by azurekep »

I have both WinXP and Win10.

I don't let either touch the Internet. :D

That means my WinXP won't be getting updated, but that doesn't matter since it's for offline use only.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by VictoriaF »

nedsaid wrote:If you have a Windows XP machine, don't use it to surf the web unless you don't have anything important on your machine.
I would agree with this. Nevertheless, people keep Windows XP for various reasons some of which are more legitimate than others. And if they do, it's more prudent to manually update XP than to keep it unpatched.

When I revived my XPs to install updates, I used the occasion to also remove all files that could compromise my identity and to run the Revo Uninstaller "Evidence Remover" tool. Now, I feel secure that no matter what may happen to my old XPs, i.e., whether I forget about them, dispose of them, or lose them to theft, they would not compromise me.

Victoria
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ikowik
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by ikowik »

My 12 years old IBM laptop was still functional with Windows XP, mostly web surfing, emails, light word processing and spreadsheets. The ransomware problem made me decide it was not safe to continue. I used this opportunity to lead a Linux distribution (Lubuntu) and learn a little about Linux. Has worked out well so far. Amazingly (to me at least) Lubuntu runs faster than XP on this old Intel Pentium laptop.
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by azurekep »

ikowik wrote:My 12 years old IBM laptop was still functional with Windows XP, mostly web surfing, emails, light word processing and spreadsheets. The ransomware problem made me decide it was not safe to continue. I used this opportunity to lead a Linux distribution (Lubuntu) and learn a little about Linux. Has worked out well so far. Amazingly (to me at least) Lubuntu runs faster than XP on this old Intel Pentium laptop.


Can't pass up an opportunity to say hi to another Lubuntu user. :beer
ikowik
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by ikowik »

azurekep wrote:
ikowik wrote:My 12 years old IBM laptop was still functional with Windows XP, mostly web surfing, emails, light word processing and spreadsheets. The ransomware problem made me decide it was not safe to continue. I used this opportunity to lead a Linux distribution (Lubuntu) and learn a little about Linux. Has worked out well so far. Amazingly (to me at least) Lubuntu runs faster than XP on this old Intel Pentium laptop.


Can't pass up an opportunity to say hi to another Lubuntu user. :beer
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iamlucky13
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by iamlucky13 »

PFInterest wrote:It is incredible how many ppl use XP still.... Talk about inefficiency as well as a HUGE security risk.
Being roughly tied with OS-X for popularity, you'd think there would be more frequent problems among the millions of users if that were true. Being the most thoroughly security tested OS in history, it's actually gotten pretty good. It took the NSA to find several of the holes being patched in these latest updates.

You can in general expect to be better isolated from threats on the newer OS's, but the FBI Moneypak (aka Reveton) ransomware mentioned by nedsaid, for example, was not XP-specific. It was also observed affecting Win 7 and OS-X users. In fact, I never encountered it even though I continued to use XP until I did a general system upgrade about 2 years after the Reveton was in the wild.

I would still be pretty comfortable surfing the web on an XP machine, as long as all the latest updates are installed, along with an anti-virus suite, and following the usual safe browsing habits that apply to all systems. An ad-blocker that stops 3rd party javascript like ublock is also a good idea.
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nedsaid
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by nedsaid »

Windows XP was a very good operating system, I had it on my own computer for probably 12 years. It was with sorrow that I finally upgraded in spring of 2014. I liked that is was much more stable than its DOS based predecessors Windows 98SE, Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows 3.1. Now that I am on Windows 10, I have forgotten what the blue screen of death looks like. Time rolls on, even good things get to be out of date, and alas, I blew taps on XP in 2014.

As software gets older and older, it just gets more vulnerable. My understanding is that even the architecture of the beloved Windows 7 is out of date. Security wise, users are better of with Windows 10. I loved Windows 7 too but I left my machine on one night and the next morning I was welcomed into the world of Windows 10. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
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HurdyGurdy
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by HurdyGurdy »

When Victoria talks about computer security, I listen.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by VictoriaF »

HurdyGurdy wrote:When Victoria talks about computer security, I listen.
Thank you, HurdyGurdy!

To be clear, I am not endorsing Windows XP. I am pointing out that *if* one is still using XP, or keeps it for whatever purpose, he or she should manually install the updates from the Microsoft site I have referenced in the OP. For as long as Microsoft supports an operating system, the updates can be installed automatically. HOWEVER, the latest updates for obsolete systems can only be installed manually. The manual installation is very easy, but remember to pick up all relevant updates from all three tables. In the case of my XP computers, I needed 12 patches for each.

Some of these updates require system reboot. When I was updating my first XP computer, I was rebooting after installing each patch. Then I realized that I can first install all updates and then reboot once. This is obvious in the retrospect, but I just did not think about it.

A very important consideration is disposing of old computers. Many people move to new computers and donate or recycle old ones without thoroughly cleaning them up. The data on an old computer may significantly jeopardize one's identity. Merely deleting files is not enough. All old email data must be removed too. Then one should use a clean up utility to remove traces of old files.

Victoria
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BolderBoy
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by BolderBoy »

azurekep wrote:I have both WinXP and Win10.

I don't let either touch the Internet.
If you don't let your Win10 touch the internet, how are you keeping up with security (and other) updates?
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mouses
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by mouses »

BolderBoy wrote:
azurekep wrote:I have both WinXP and Win10.

I don't let either touch the Internet.
If you don't let your Win10 touch the internet, how are you keeping up with security (and other) updates?
If you stay off the internet and don't do things like install new software, plug in strange thumb drives, you don't need to care about security and other updates.
bigdav160
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by bigdav160 »

A timely posting. Windows 10 did a huge update on my laptop and "broke" the network connection.

I used the the Winxp computer in the bedroom to search for fixes.

All are back running. Thanks
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by bobcat2 »

If you must use XP and surf the internet at least do the following.

- Use a standard user account, not an administrative account, when surfing the net (free).
- Use Chrome or Firefox not IE when surfing. Use addons uMatrix or NoScript, as well as a good adblocker.
- Use a good 3rd party antivirus such as Avast free.
- Use a secure DNS service such as Norton Connectsafe (free). Link - https://connectsafe.norton.com/configureRouter.html
- Here's the one thing you need to pay for; purchase Appguard (about $30). Put it in locked down protection mode unless you are updating software.
Learn how to use Appguard.

Appguard website - http://www.appguardus.com/index.php/app ... tures#tech
Places where you can learn to use Appguard wisely.
Beginner - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2453347,00.asp
beyond beginner review - http://www.filecritic.com/blue-ridge-ne ... rd-review/

Sample advanced configuration.
https://malwaretips.com/threads/appguar ... ead.53673/

I'm not sure what Appguard costs today. I bought three licenses several years ago when the licenses were lifetime. Today the license is cheaper, but annual. The default setup will make you very safe and the beginner explanation (above at PC Mag) will explain how Appguard applies software restriction policies and the minor adjustments to the default settings you might want to make. The advanced tweaks will make you very safe, but require some familiarity with both Windows and Appguard. I'm at the point today where I wouldn't use a Windows PC without Appguard.

BobK

Edit -
I forgot at least one important thing. The XP built-in firewall, unlike later versions of Windows, isn't very robust. If your antivirus solution doesn't include a firewall, add a free firewall. The two most popular free firewalls are ZoneAlarm and Comodo.
Last edited by bobcat2 on Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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azurekep
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by azurekep »

bobcat2 wrote: - Use Chrome or Firefox not IE when surfing. Use addons uMatrix or NoScript, as well as a good adblocker.
From what I understand, even Win10 users should use Chrome or Firefox. There is an apparently unpatchable bug in the Edge browser that allows passwords to be stolen. There are a number of articles online that are a bit technical, but Steve Gibson of GRC talks about it in plain English in one of his Security Now podcasts. HERE is a transcript. Just search on "Edge". It's the passage that begins:
Microsoft Edge browser has a vulnerability, believe it or not, that is not patched, that was not disclosed responsibly, that allows arbitrary sites that you visit to steal your cookies and passwords for other sites.
I believe Edge was built from the ground up, i.e., not built on IE, so that's pretty worrisome.
- Here's the one thing you need to pay for; purchase Appguard (about $30). Put it in locked down protection mode unless you are updating software.
Learn how to use Appguard.

Appguard website - http://www.appguardus.com/index.php/app ... tures#tech
There are also some free programs that lock down one's system. They probably work similarly though I haven't read the documentation on Appguard.. When I used XP, I found some of these protective programs through the Wilder's security forums. I chose TrustNoExe, but there were others.
galectin
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by galectin »

I had an old laptop running XP that I wanted to use on the Internet, but also keep XP programs available. I installed a Linux distro (Mint 17.3 Mate in my case, but others would work) and had it create a 20 Mb partition for Linux. It moved the XP files to another partition. When I turn the computer on I get a menu asking which OS I want to boot. When I go to XP I use a manual switch on the laptop that turns the network hardware off to avoid hackers, etc. I use Linux for on-line access and XP is working fine in its new partition.
inbox788
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by inbox788 »

mouses wrote:If you stay off the internet and don't do things like install new software, plug in strange thumb drives, you don't need to care about security and other updates.
Did you know superglue was (and may still be used) to disable USB ports?

I've got some data on XP computers that I've been keeping as archives. Eventually I'll have to retire them, but for now, they're safe being unplugged, not only from the internet, but from power. Basically, they're collecting dust in the closet, but there are a couple of files that might be needed. But if not and enough time elapses, I'll have to yank the hard drives and recycle the junk.
Jeff Albertson
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by Jeff Albertson »

With more NSA attack tools out in the wild, the internet is a very, very dangerous place for everyone. Public services are especially at risk.
“The world is burning about WannaCry, but this is a nuclear bomb compared to WannaCry,” Mr. Ben-Oni said. “This is different. It’s a lot worse. It steals credentials. You can’t catch it, and it’s happening right under our noses.”
...
More distressing, Mr. Dillon tested all the major antivirus products against the DoublePulsar infection and a demoralizing 99 percent failed to detect it.

“We’ve seen the same computers infected with DoublePulsar for two months and there is no telling how much malware is on those systems,” Mr. Dillon said. “Right now we have no idea what’s gotten into these organizations.”

In the worst case, Mr. Dillon said, attackers could use those back doors to unleash destructive malware into critical infrastructure, tying up rail systems, shutting down hospitals or even paralyzing electrical utilities.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/tech ... iness&_r=0
nura
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Re: Attention Win XP users

Post by nura »

I have a printer, scanner, sound card, reciver, Adobe PDF writer and MS Flight Simulator all of which will run on Windows XP only.
Since my older XP hardware was showing their age, I recently rebuild a new XP PC with Intel NUC kit.
I plan to keep them running for ever. The computing experience and productivity is as good as Windows 10.
It is impossible to buy Hardware that has XP drivers anywhere else but on eBay.
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