FBI wants you to update your Windows 7 ASAP

Claudiu Andone
by Claudiu Andone
Windows & Software Expert
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  • FBI has issued a private industry notification (PIN) to warn about increasing attacks on Windows 7 end of life systems.
  • Microsoft dropped any support for Windows 7 on January 14 so it doesn't receive any updates or patches necessary to keep the OS protected.
  • The first defence against threats is information. Read all about them in our Cybersecurity section.
  • Did you read the latest stories from the digital world? Get them from our News Hub.
FBI recommends an update on your Windows 7 ASAP

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a private industry notification (PIN) to warn about increasing attacks on Windows 7 end of life systems:

Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cyber criminals access into computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.

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As you probably know, Microsoft dropped any support for Windows 7 on January 14 so it doesn’t receive any updates or patches necessary to keep the OS protected.

That is unless you are paying for a Security Update (ESU) plan for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise which will also end in January 2023.

How big is the problem with the EOL Windows 7?

The statistics picked up by the FBI are pretty grim. They cite an open-source report that indicated 71% of unsupported devices used in healthcare organizations.

In that respect, the Federal organization reminds about the After the Windows XP end of life episode from April 2014, which led to a surge of exposed records the following year.

According to the PIN, since the end of July 2019, malicious Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exploits increased with the development of a working commercial exploit for the BlueKeep vulnerability.

FBI also reminds about the WannaCry ransomware that infected approximately 98% of Windows 7 systems back in 2017.

What is FBI advising against these threats?

This is how FBI outlines the steps needed for countering possible attacks on Windows 7 systems:

  • Upgrading operating systems to the latest supported version.
  • Ensuring anti-virus, spam filters, and firewalls are up to date, properly configured, and
    secure.
  • Auditing network configurations and isolate computer systems that cannot be updated.
  • Auditing your network for systems using RDP, closing unused RDP ports, applying two factor authentication wherever possible, and logging RDP login attempts.

If for any reason you can’t upgrade to Windows 10, here’s a list with the best antivirus for your Windows 7.

FBI closed the PIN by encouraging everyone to report information concerning such criminal activity to the local FBI field office or the FBI’s 24/7 Cyber Watch (CyWatch).

Are you still running Windows 7? Tell us how you feel about the security threats signaled by the authorities.

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