"Ticking time bombs": The number of insecure Windows computers is increasing

If you are still working with an old Windows operating system, you should think about an upgrade.

"Ticking time bombs": The number of insecure Windows computers is increasing

If you are still working with an old Windows operating system, you should think about an upgrade. As of next week, there will no longer be any support for the older version 8.1, making the computers easy prey for cybercriminals.

In the foreseeable future, almost three million insecure Windows PCs will be on the road in Germany. Thorsten Urbanski from the security company ESET pointed this out. The Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, which has been outdated for years, runs on 1.7 million computers. Around one million computers have the Windows 8.1 system installed, for which technical support from Microsoft will expire next week (January 10). This no longer closes security gaps in Windows 8.1.

"The insecure Windows computers are ticking time bombs," said Urbanski. For cybercriminals, these computers are easy targets to attack. "A known and unclosed vulnerability is enough - and in the worst case, the computers are open like a barn door." Nevertheless, many users continue to underestimate the security risk of an outdated version of Windows.

Urbanski showed little understanding for the use of outdated systems by private users or users in companies, authorities or organizations. "Especially operating system dinosaurs like Windows 7, whose end of support was several years ago, should finally be retired," demanded the expert. The same applies to Windows 8.1 from January 10, 2023. Because support is ending here too and there will no longer be any free security updates for private users. "I strongly advise you to switch to the latest Windows versions," said Urbanski.

According to a survey, three quarters of Internet users are affected by cybercrime. On the other hand, 22 percent stated that they had had no experience with malware, fraud when shopping online or insults on social networks, according to the survey by the Bitkom industry association. Anyone who moves on the Internet must expect to meet criminals, said Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder according to the announcement. "That's why it's important that everyone takes appropriate security measures," said Rohleder.

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