The waves of change are upon us, and Windows XP is no longer a supported operating system. Microsoft stopped releasing security updates and patches for this platform, at least for the general public, earlier this year.

But that has left computers that are still running the vintage OS vulnerable to potential attacks.

Security experts were quick to warn that these computers might actually harm each and every one of us, because they could be used for all sorts of malicious activities — and unfortunately this is what has started to happen.

The lead X-Force security architect for IBM Security Systems, Michael Hamelin, believes that the recent increase spam activities is tied to the number of computers still on Windows XP:

“We saw a correlation between countries where large percentages of people still use Windows XP and countries where botnets sending Spam are originating from. There is a correlation between people who are still using XP and users who don’t apply patches so the hosts are often susceptible to attack.”

Hamelin says that there is no shortage of cybercriminals that are coming up with malware that focuses on Windows XP users, as the platform is now an easier and much more vulnerable target.

Additionally, many that are still running Windows XP computers do not understand the security risks, and the scary bit here is that these attackers are not just after personal information, but are using these PCs to run botnets or carry out DDoS attacks.

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