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8 million PCs in Korea may turn into zombie PCs

Posted December. 27, 2013 04:23,   


As Microsoft (MS) has announced it will stop supporting Windows XP from April 8 next year, the Internet security industry in Korea points out increasing risks of a potential computer security crisis because over 8 million PCs in Korea that are using Windows XP may be misused by hackers. The only way to avert such a threat is to replace the operating system (OS) by the deadline of April 8, but the pace of replacement is very slow due to cost burden.

An expert in the security industry said Thursday, “Hackers in and outside Korea are looking forward to the ‘D-day’ of April 8 when MS will stop its support for Windows XP,” adding, “Malignant codes targeting the weak points of Windows XP will be traded at high prices and the theft of private information and lead of trade secrets will also increase.”

Microsoft stops all kinds of technical supports for Windows SP including security updates and bug revisions from April 8, 2014. In this case, all PC with Windows XP are likely to be infected by malignant codes or viruses unknowingly and used for a large-scale DDos attack.

MS says that “the only way to resolve the problem is to change Windows XP to other operating system,” and recommends users to “replace the OS to a new product such as Windows 8.” However, in many cases, the overall system of a PC as well as computer programs such as MS Office also have to be upgraded in order to replace the OS.

Windows XP, which was launched in 2001, was the most popular among the operating systems developed by MS. In 2010, Windows XP took up 85 percent of the total market share in Korea. And even today, 12 years after the launch, its market share stands at about 19 percent.

Some express discontent over Microsoft’s act by saying that it is the high-handedness of a giant multinational corporation because countermeasures are not in place. An official from a domestic software company said, “A similar situation will repeat whenever supports for an OS ends,” adding, “This kind of situation has been projected in that the leadership in the OS market has been taken by foreign companies for a long time.”