Home Daily Blitz Future Tense Newsletter: Why Is the Military Still Using Windows XP?

Future Tense Newsletter: Why Is the Military Still Using Windows XP?


The following is an excerpt from MIA ARMSTRONG | June 6, 2018 | Slate.com |

Greetings, Future Tensers,

Antique store-worthy hardware. Constantly pushed-back software updates. Shudder-inducing security hygiene. These are the types of technological calamities-in-waiting that can keep governments, businesses, and other organizations behind the curve. And this month, Future Tense will be documenting their struggles to stay digitally caught up—and what happens when they fall behind—in a series we’re calling Update or Die.

First up, if you’ve been putting off those software updates on your device, at least you can say you probably haven’t been stalling as long as some corners of the U.S. military. Mind-bogglingly, the Pentagon is still running certain computers, including those with mission-critical functions, on long-outdated operating systems like Microsoft’s 2001 software package Windows XP. Jeremy Hsu explains why the military can’t seem to quit these legacy products, and what that means for the cybersecurity of digital systems with life-or-death consequences.

Some hospital administrators have also been faced with weighing the life-or-death consequences of not keeping their systems updated. Many medical institutions rely on outdated software, and that’s left them vulnerable to a rising number of ransomware attacks, in which hackers freeze the institution’s IT systems—digital patient records, communications, and websites—and demand money to unlock them. But, as Josephine Wolff argues, paying up can be problematic.

For more visit: Slate.com