Philippines Banks Fully Protected Against Heartbleed Bug, Windows XP Exploits

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which is the central bank body in the country, says in a statement that local banks are fully secure against the Heartbleed bug and Windows XP exploits.

As far as the latter is concerned, banks have already negotiated with Microsoft contracts to continue to receive updates until they complete the transition to a newer OS version or installed dedicated software to block exploits.

“Banks have reported taking specific actions to manage the operational concerns. They have adopted phased transition plans where the operating system will be gradually upgraded or replaced by 2016,” the BSP said according to  BusinessWorld Onlin. “For this purpose, banks entered into contracts with their ATM vendors or with Microsoft for extended support agreement to ensure continued protection while the transition plan is being carried out.”

ATMs in the country are fully secure as well, the central bank explained, as their owners also tried to make sure that they’re all protected by implementing a number of measures supposed to block attacks until the transition to newer software is completed.

“With the corrective actions implemented by banks, it can be said that ATMs in the Philippines are adequately protected from the threats posed by the end-of-support of Windows XP,” it said.

According to third-party stats, Windows XP is still holding a 26 percent market share worldwide, which is quite living proof that consumers are yet ready to give up on it.

However, today Microsoft issued a new warning for Windows XP users, saying that the old OS version won’t be receiving any other updates in the coming months, so those running it have basically no other option than to migrate. This month’s Patch Tuesday marked the first time when Windows XP did not receive any fixes since its launch and Microsoft said that nothing is going to chance in the upcoming update rollouts.

The problem is that some of the flaws found in the other Windows versions might also affect Windows XP, with hackers very likely to reverse the released patches in order to find a way to get into XP machines. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how much time they need to find a critical flaw in Windows XP that Microsoft no longer wants to patch.

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