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Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

From El Reg

So they could have released the patch months ago.

The Redmond tech giant was praised for issuing the fixes for its legacy Windows builds. It stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, and Server 2003 in July 2015, for instance, so the updates were welcome.

However, our analysis of the metadata within these patches shows these files were built and digitally signed by Microsoft on February 11, 13 and 17, the same week it had prepared updates for its supported versions of Windows. In other words, Microsoft had fixes ready to go for its legacy systems in mid-February but only released them to the public last Friday after the world was engulfed in WannaCrypt.

Here's the dates in the patches:

  • Windows 8 RT (64-bit x86): Feb 13, 2017
  • Windows 8 RT (32-bit x86): Feb 13, 2017
  • Windows Server 2003 (64-bit x86): Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86): Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows XP: Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows XP Embedded: Feb 17, 2017

 

And people wonder why I dislike them. Crazy3

6 REPLIES
Superuser
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

That isn't anything new.  It was previously patched for those paying for support on those OS's

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

Yes BUT the fact is that the AFFECTED pc's were probably running XP. For which they HAD the patch available but didn't release it till NOW.
The cash cow that XP is meant that they were holding the trusts to ransom BEFORE this attack. They were charging extortionate prices PER PC for support. (Like £1200/year EACH)
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

I blame the government and MS.

If you had the choice of spending a limited budget on nursing/surgical staff or giving it to a greedy multinational, which would be the most sensible?

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

The gov CHOOSE NOT TO PAY M$. But they still could have released it when they released the rest of the patches. Then the NHS (and other organisations) wouldn't have this mess to clean up.
I really can't see this appealing them to the NHS now, maybe even make them look at Linux for clients. Even with a VM running the app under XP, they could have roll backs etc.
DaveyH
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Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

I'm no fan of M$, but how many others out there have supported their OS for 15 years, and released patches long after official support finished?

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 14
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Interesting M$ could have prevented this attatck

Well Oracle/Sun has (not on the pc but).
The issue is that companies were sold this OS as the greatest thing, they invested a LOT of money in licensing and new pc's at the time and for the next 12 years.
The replacements were NO USE to corporate users, they couldn't afford another refresh and retraining. When your user base is used to seeing/doing something a certain way they are very resistant to change.

Companies don't like spending money on hardware/software when there is no feeling of better. When you are spending £1000's on licensing (each year) then you don't want to spend £10000's on new pc's as well. XP worked fine in the NHS (it ONLY just replaced NT4 a few years ago here). We aren't talking about a couple of pc's we are in the 1000's of them. Then you have user retraining and the cost of rolling out the upgrades and supporting both while it is being done.

I used to work in a corporate IT environment with 50K desktops and 100's of servers. I know the problems.
When we used to install a new server it was always spec'ed as running the latest M$ server at the time, even though we knew nothing about it we had to install and support it. The fun we had <not> finding out that windows update was not trusted by the server and we had to trust it to get updates on install (for instance).

BUT the fact they HAD the patches and CHOOSE NOT to release them, even later after the hacks were made public, is just despicable. They were trying to do what the worm DID, hold them to ransom and get them to pay for support.