- Nov 10, 2017
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent a private industry notification (PIN) on Monday to partners in the US private sector about the dangers of continuing to use Windows 7 after the operating system reached its official end-of-life (EOL) earlier this year.
"The FBI has observed cyber criminals targeting computer network infrastructure after an operating system achieves end of life status," the agency said.
"Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cyber criminals access in to computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.
"With fewer customers able to maintain a patched Windows 7 system after its end of life, cyber criminals will continue to view Windows 7 as a soft target," the FBI warned.
FBI urges companies to update devices
The Bureau is now asking companies to look into upgrading their workstations to newer versions of the Windows operating system.
To this day, Microsoft still allows Windows 7 systems to be upgraded to Windows 10 at no cost -- even if this offer officially ended in July 2016.
However, in some cases, the PC's underlying hardware may not support the (free) upgrade to a much more powerful system like Windows 10, a challenge that the FBI acknowledged in its alert, citing costs that companies might need to support to buy new hardware and software.