Codenamed Whistler, Microsoft started developing Windows XP in the late 1990s and it was released for retail sale on October 25, 2001. Windows XP is quite old now but still, some are rocking the old operating system build on the Windows NT kernel.
The second biggest police force in the UK, the Manchester Police is still using Microsoft’s Windows XP operating on almost 20% of its computers. Windows XP is being used on a large scale (1,518) computers despite Microsoft is not supporting the operating system anymore. The unfortunate truth was revealed in the findings from Freedom of Information Act.
“Even if security vulnerabilities are identified in XP, Microsoft won’t distribute patches in the same way it does for later releases of Windows … So, if the police’s Windows XP computers are exposed to the public internet, then that would be a serious concern … If they are isolated, that would be less of a worry – but the problem is still that if something gets into a secure network, it might then spread. That is what happened in the NHS with the recent WannaCry outbreak,” Dr Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security expert at University College London.
Freedom of Information Act wanted to cooperate with forces but they refused to work because of the security reasons. Back in June, Met Police had also confirmed that they had 18,000 Windows XP machines and just 8 devices were powered by Windows 10.
The Greater Manchester Police’s spokesperson has however confirmed that were planning to upgrade to the latest version of Windows operating system but as it was difficult for them to migrate the applications to Windows 10, the force hasn’t ditched Windows XP yet.