The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a notification to private sectors on Monday, warning about potential hacks if still using the outdated Windows 7. The end-of-life support for Windows 7 has stopped earlier this year, thus supplying no security updates by the maker which makes it more vulnerable.
FBI Warns About Potential Risks in Using Window’s 7
In a Private Industry Notification (PIN) issued by the FBI on Monday, the agency has warned partners of US private sector about risks in using the Windows 7 OS further. The outdated OS stopped receiving updates by Microsoft years back, and earlier this year, it has ended the life support too. This means the maker will not push (or make) any security updates to Windows 7 systems.
Thus, those machines could possibly be targeted by hackers if any vulnerability is found. The FBI said “Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cybercriminals access into computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to the lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.”
Further, it termed the Windows 7 machines as a soft target, since fewer customers are able to maintain a patched OS even after its end-of-life span. Though the FBI, along with security researchers and authorities have urged users to update for Windows 10 OS, many have ignored these warnings because of resources cost.
But FBI said in a sensible way that, “However, these challenges (cost of upgrading hardware) do not outweigh the loss of intellectual property and threats to an organization.” It also added an example of a past example, Windows XP. This software was used by many in the healthcare industry, which has been exposed to a large number of attacks when the support of its end in 2014.
Further, the FBI has also mentioned the infamous exploits, BlueKeep and Eternal Blue to push them further. While the Eternal Blue (exploited by WannaCry in 2017) has encrypted systems via ransomware, BlueKeep access and steal files through open RDP ports.