Published: Wed, January 15, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

NSA discovers security flaw in Microsoft Windows

NSA discovers security flaw in Microsoft Windows

That means system updates will no longer be released unless massive security flaws are discovered, and bugs will no longer be fixed so they'll just continue to bother you until you finally relent and upgrade to Windows 10.

Now You: do you still run Windows 7?

So, if you're one of those people impacted, what can you do? The good news is that Windows 10 comes with basic drivers.

"While support for these popular releases ends today, we are excited about new innovations in cloud computing, hybrid cloud, and data that can help server workloads get ready for the new era", Vijay Kumar Director, Windows Server and Azure Product Marketing director wrote.

Read our guide for detailed instructions on how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Now, from 14 January 2020, the latter will also cease, making Windows 7 essentially a dead operating system.

The menu will tell the user which browser version they're running, with the option to click "Restart to update Firefox" if necessary.

The GCHQ echoes this, advising users to move to Windows 10 or to take alternative precautions, such as transferring their sensitive data to a separate device that is supported. For example, your PC needs at least 32 GB of hard drive storage space, 1 GB of RAM and a processor with a clock speed of at least 1 GHz.

Bend-based Kollective held a "funeral" for Windows 7.

Computers running Windows 7 will still function after Tuesday but they will become less and less secure.

Microsoft has been warning users for months it would cease support on January 14, even with a third of all personal computer users still running Windows 7.

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Technically, you don't have to upgrade right away.

The new monthly rollup and non-security update for Windows 7 come with a couple of security fixes.

"The discovery has been likened to a slightly less severe version of the Microsoft flaw that the NSA once weaponized by creating a hacking tool dubbed EternalBlue, which one former agency hack said was like "fishing with dynamite".

"This vulnerability is classed Important and we have not seen it used in active attacks", the microsoft said in a separate blog post.

Still, browser updates alone aren't sufficient to protect your computer against hackers and bad actors.

The operating system has been around since 2009 so it's hardly surprising that its day is done.

Some companies rely heavily on applications that only work with Windows 7.

This is not a hypothetical.

In the most dramatic case, a group used the tool to unleash a massive malware outbreak dubbed WannaCry in 2017. Since then, only the necessary patches got released.

For the most part, all the things you've relied on in Windows 7 will be there or thereabouts on Windows 10.

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