Manchester police still relies on Windows XP


England’s second biggest police force has revealed that more than one in five of its computers were still running Windows XP as of July.

Greater Manchester Police told the BBC that 1,518 of its PCs ran the ageing operating system, representing 20.3% of all the office computers it used.

Microsoft ended nearly all support for the operating system in 2014. Experts say its use could pose a hacking risk.

The figure was disclosed as part of a wider Freedom of Information request.

“Even if security vulnerabilities are identified in XP, Microsoft won’t distribute patches in the same way it does for later releases of Windows,” said Dr Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security expert at University College London.

“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.”

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Source: BBC News