(The Hosting News) – A hacker doomsday could be around the corner for users still relying on Windows XP after Microsoft stops providing security updates for the aging OS in March of next year.
The warning came from SANS trainer and Microsoft security guru Jason Fossen, according to a report from Computerworld on Monday.
Fossen noted that currently, Microsoft quickly works to patch up “zero-day” exploits that sometimes range in price via the black market for between $50 thousand to $150 thousand dollars. However, once security updates stop correcting the exploits, the vulnerabilities will last longer and become worth even more.
“When someone discovers a very reliable, remotely executable XP vulnerability, and publishes it today, Microsoft will patch it in a few weeks,” Fossen stated via the report. “But if they sit on a vulnerability, the price for it could very well double.”
Microsoft previously reminded users in April that only 365 days remained in XP’s update life. Despite the looming date, however, XP remains popular and widely used. Windows 7 previously overtook XP as the most widely used OS in June, according to stats from Net Market Share.
The Windows-maker has been urging users to update for a while now. XP was originally launched all the way back in 2001.