Say what you may about the looming retirement of the classic old Windows XP, the attention from Microsoft and friends means we get some interesting new statistics and figures every now and then.
This latest one is bound to send some shocks and shivers.
One thing worth getting out of the way right off the bat is that Windows XP is soon going to become an absolute favorite target of hackers — that is, if it is not already. Microsoft will stop releasing patches for the old OS in less than six months, and the platform is inherently not as secure, for starters.
Ultimately those that still stick with it could expect a barge of sustained attacks as cybercriminals will probably go all in, with whatever flaw they have unearthed or will find.
Security firm Trend Micro has recently rolled out a rather fascinating new report that reveals the details and and sheds more light on how the underground cybercriminals work.
Basically, a vulnerable Windows XP system costs a mere 3 cents on the Chinese underground market. This means, it is quite rather affordable for hackers planning to spread malware, send spam, create a botnet, or carry out their illegal activities.
Access to a computer with a webcam can be had for 6 cents, though Japanese and South Korean machines are a bit more expense at around 16 cents a system.
Which way the wind blows after the retirement of Windows XP should be evident in say six months from now, but reports like this will only please Microsoft, as they will encourage businesses and end users to upgrade from Windows XP to a newer, more secure version of Windows.