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Quarter of PCs could now be more at risk from ransomware

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

Today is the day when Windows 7 reaches end of life. That means that Microsoft will no longer issue regular patches or updates for the famed operating system. From now on, any flaw or vulnearbility discovered will remain unpatched, and the machines running the old system will remain at risk.

Cybersecurity firm Veritas Technologies is drawing everyone's attention towards ransomware, saying that businesses and people running legacy and unsupported operating systems will be at a greater risk of ransomware than before.

It says that WannaCry, one of the most devastating ransomwares of all time, was successful mostly because of unpatched systems. It argues that roughly 200,000 devices, in 150 countries around the world, will be vulnerable to similar malware, now that Windows 7 is no longer under Windows' wing.

“WannaCry was a clear example of the dangers that businesses can face when they are using software that has reached end of life,“ commented Ian Wood, Senior Director, EMEA Cloud & Governance Business Practice, Veritas. 

In January 2020, a quarter of all PCs are going to fall into this category so it’s vital that the organisations that rely on Windows 7 are aware of the risks and what they need to mitigate them.“

Ransomware is a type of malware in which all of the files on the infected network get encrypted, and the victim is demanded ransom in cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key.

In many instances, victims pay the ransom but never get the decryption key.