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There are countless uses for XP, Vista, etal besides online trading.

 

Reports are that XP is still widely used in industry...which might lend some degree of merit to Nathan's (false?) contention. Windows gurus regularly mention they still use XP and Vista productively. XP and Vista (together with later OSs) all work well for our purposes thus far (as I knock on wood!).

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I   Ransomeware Hijacks Computers World-wide

peter, did you mean to attach that picture of a scantily clad woman to your post? (some people might find it offensive.)

careful what kind of porn sites you visit, peter!

My understanding from Arstechnica is that 8 and 10 are not really vulnerable to WannaCry.

 

Peter, under no circumstances should anyone be running XP -- especially if connected to the internet. Microsoft stopped supporting it two years ago. You have no fricking clue how vulnerable you are. The organizations that were taken down last Friday were running XP...those are the ones who are horrifically vulnerable.

 

Paul, XP came out in 2001. It reached end of service in 2015 (i.e. Microsoft stopped making security patches for it). From a security perspective you should run 8 or 10...after that it's a matter of taste (theoretically 10 will run better on an older computer than 8...no, I didn't write that backwards). What does matter is that you should install all updates/patches...whichever OS you choose (same goes for MacOs/Linux users).

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seriously though, this was an SMB exploit that only affected people running Windows XP (which isn't even supported anymore) and Windows 7 (if they weren't running updates/installing patches). None of you should still be using those OS' at home. (As I type this on a government computer running Windows 7 (at least it's patched albeit half the internet doesn't work)).

 

keep your operating systems up to date and use two factor authentication on your accounts. That will protect you the vast vast majority of the time.

 

For Sig Eater's budget project, they've given her an abacus.

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You have no fricking clue how vulnerable you are.

 

 

Nathan, assuming a very careful/judicious XP user with a firewall and anti-malware software and using a browser other than Internet Explorer (the one being used is Gecko based), what are some examples of the vulnerability you are referring to?

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Nathan, thanks for your comments. They make a lot of sense.

 

I spoke with Charles Schwab on another matter, and they added a little more detail. The way I understood it, there are several layers of connectivity in something called secure socket links. These SSL interact with various identifiers within Schwab to make sure my computer is what it says it is, and there are no known eavesdroppers, etc. SSL 128 is the current standard, they told me.

 

When MS comes out with a new version of software, like Win 7 to Win 10, they build bridges within the 10 to link back to code written by me or a vendor for a 7 product and make it work. But many newer features in the 10 may not work as intended. If I'm working on an SSL version 1994 that may create difficulties.

 

Apparently, there are various ways for Schwab to authenticate my computer. They will be going to a two factor authentication soon. That means I enter my user name, click enter and it is passed to Schwab. Schwab passes back some code, and my machine is prompted for my password. That goes back in a different pass to Schwab, after a massage with the info just received.

 

The feds have apparently imposed regs on banks, brokers etc which require them to maintain more secure connections. That's why Win XP, Win Vista, etc connections aren't supported by some security systems.

 

(Of course, the NSA, with its billions of dollars in investment, still gets hacked by guys working out of a cave somewhere. NOT POLITICAL!)

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Schwab isn't already using two factor authentication? I'd fire them....

 

in 2017 I wouldn't dream of using a bank or email service that didn't have two factor authentication (or tokenization) enabled.

 

heck, the entire Fappening happened solely because the affected individuals didn't have two factor authentication enabled (and had easy to socially engineer passwords).

 

on another note, use a password manager. any of the major services will work. or just icloud keychain if you're an Apple person.

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I noticed that Schwab has the following on the log in page of the retail investor site. The click is "IMPORTANT NOTICE for users of Microsoft XP". Schwab will work best for:

 

 

The latest (non-beta) version of Microsoft Vista®, Windows® 7 , or Windows® 8. Please note that Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP and the use of this operating system is not recommended. Additional information can be found on the Microsoft site.

AND
The latest (non-beta) version of either
Microsoft® Internet Explorer
Firefox®
Chrome®

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Peter, I'm not sure why you think pointing out that only 7% of computer users are complete idiots is something new to the rest of us. The whole point is that most malware targets people who haven't updated. Firewalls and antivirus software won't protect you btw.

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