It has been revealed that Manchester Police Force (England’s second largest) are still using the operating system Windows XP, which Microsoft ended nearly all support for in 2014. This poses as a serious cyber security issue, Jamie Moles, Security Consultant at Lastline commented below.
Jamie Moles, Security Consultant at Lastline:
“It comes as no surprise to hear that Manchester Police Force are using Windows XP. Any austerity hit organisation will concentrate their spending where it brings the most benefit to its core mission and with the Police, that is clearly (and rightly) law enforcement, with cybersecurity likely to be a lot lower down the list of budgetary priorities. The problem however, with still running Windows XP as a desktop operating system is that as an OS that is no longer supported by Microsoft any security holes discovered in XP will not be fixed by Microsoft. Any penetration tester worth their salt will actively search for Windows XP machines within an environment as these are a known weak spot and easy to take advantage of to fully compromise a Windows Domain based computer network. The solution is to remove Windows XP by upgrading to newer desktop operating systems and by protecting the perimeter with suitable network security solutions. While this isn’t a frontline Policing issue, I would strongly urge the Manchester Police Force to upgrade, as a successful cyberattack on a Police force could cause significant, and potentially life-threatening issues.”