Microsoft to extend anti-malware protection for Windows XP users

Redmond will still end support for Windows XP on April 8 of this year

Microsoft is extending anti-malware protection for Windows XP users beyond its April 8 deadline for supporting the operating system to July 14, 2015.

"For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials," explains the Microsoft Malware Protection Center in a blog.

At the same time, Microsoft warns that using outdated operating systems, even with anti-malware protection, is still risky.

According to the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, Windows 8 encountered a similar amount of malware as Windows XP, but end users running Windows XP were six times more likely to be infected by malware.

The top three security threats to Windows XP users were Sality, a worm family that can steal personal information and lower PC security settings; Ramnit, a worm that infects Windows executable files, Microsoft Office files and HTML files; and Vobfus, a family of worms that can download other malware onto a PC and can be downloaded by other malware or spread via removable drives.

Redmond recommends that PC users employ best security practices, such as "using modern software that has advanced security technologies and is supported with regular security updates, regularly applying security updates for all software installed [and] running up-to-date anti-virus software."

For more:
- read the Microsoft blog
- check out the SIR report

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