By Imran Khan
This week has marked some big strides – one of them brought about by some embarrassment – in the world of Microsoft. The software developer was hacked by a five year and also bid farewell to one of their greatest operating systems of all time.
Hacked by a child
A five year old boy from the USA managed to hack into his father’s Microsoft Xbox Live account using just a few simple key strokes. He goes by the name of Kristoffer Von Hassel and at a glance looks like any normal five year old. However he had worked out a way to bypass the login screen in Microsoft’s Xbox Live. Von Hassel found that every time he tried to login to his dad’s account, he would get a second verification screen.
After much trial and error, in frustration he held down the spacebar until the password window was full with the cursor reaching the end of the box. Once he did that, “hey presto”, little Von Hassel was logged in and had full access to his dad’s Microsoft Xbox Live Account.
His dad found out and reported it to Microsoft as a flaw in their system. Within minutes Microsoft resolved the problem and even sent the boy games and other goodies to show their appreciation.
The plug has been pulled
If you are reading this article and are an avid user of the Windows XP operating system then you are in for a bumpy ride. Microsoft has announced that as of April 8, they will be pulling the plug on the popular operating system.
Windows XP was released in 2001and rose to popularity for its ease of use amongst home and business users. Even banks used it for ATM machines and banking systems as it was so stable. Interestingly Microsoft XP had stayed for much longer than expected, a total of 10 years, in which all 10 years were fully serviced. By serviced we mean regular updates, patches and bug fixes were released and developed regularly.
Microsoft say that 13 years after its release technology has progressed to a level where Windows XP has become obsolete. So what does this mean to users?
Since Microsoft is pulling the plug on support, users still on Windows XP can expect viruses, malware and bugs taking advantage of the operating system’s vulnerability. With no backup support, there is really not much one can do.
The only solution is to migrate to Windows 8.1, the latest operating system from the company. We must say that it takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it’s a pleasure to use. So don’t feel too glum about bidding farewell to good old XP.