WannaCry ransomware attack has brought more bad news for Microsoft, with a new report in the Financial Times saying that the Redmont-based software giant held back the security patch update, which could have slowed down the attack.
According to the Financial Times report, Microsoft was charging some consumers nearly $1000 a year in order to get protection against threats like WannaCry ransomware attack. It also points out how even in Windows 10, Microsoft is charging some customers extra if they want better security measures, which means that those who can’t pay more are at a higher risk for vulnerabilities.
Microsoft eventually issued a free security patch for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8 users (these systems are no longer officially supported by the company, but in many parts of the world consumers and even businesses continue to remain on these).
However, the Financial Times report points out that Windows XP users are still expected to pay extra if they want security and it currently stands at $1,000 per device. The report quotes someone who has seen Microsoft’s pricing schedule for customers.
For Microsoft though the crisis has come with criticism, and the latest Financial Times report will only put the spotlight on the company’s security practices.
It should be noted that Windows XP is an outdated version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which first launched in 2001. Microsoft for its part has been pushing customers to move to the latest Windows 10, which it claims is much more secure and has regular security update.
But as the WannaCry ransomware attack shows, this could be the beginning of something worse to come. Shadow Brokers, the group that is believed to behind the theft of the NSA hacking tools, has already threatened to put out more of these tools in the public. A recent letter by the group claims there are vulnerabilities in Windows 10 as well, and if the company doesn’t have security fix for these already, it could cause even more chaos.
Windows 10 is currently running on 500 million devices, and the latest threat by the hackers puts these at risk as well. WannaCry ransomware attack is not affecting devices with Apple’s MacOS or those running Linux-based operating systems.