Apple’s recently-patched security flaw spanned both iOS and Mac OS X. Oddly enough, it also serves as a reminder of why we’re likely to see some major nastiness once support for Windows XP finally ends in April.
Ugly picture from Shutterstock
As Paul Ducklin points out on Sophos’ Naked Security blog, identifying the presence of the vulnerability in Mac OS X was much easier once we knew it existed in iOS. The same will be true when new flaws are revealed in current Windows versions: the chances are that many of those will also exist in Windows XP. The difference is XP will never be fixed, making it an attractive target for miscreants:
This is the same sort of problem that will plague Windows XP when XP’s final security patch is shippped in April 2014. Patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8 might lead researchers to an identical but unpatched bug in Windows XP. Unlike in this case, where OS X “caught up” within a few days, Windows XP will never catch up — in fact, it will be behind for ever.
The bottom line? Windows XP has to go — from both business and personal environments. And yet we can be sure there will still be plenty of holdouts come April.
Apple ships OS X 10.9.2 [Naked Security]