[ISN] China’s unsupported XP machines hold the potential to become a massive botnet army

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2014/033114-xp-china-280233.html By Tim Greene Network World March 31, 2014 Unsupported Windows XP machines in China could pose a threat to the Internet in general if bot-herders round up significant numbers of them to use as launch pads for malicious exploits, according to a top white-hat hacker. James Forshaw, a vulnerability researcher for Context Information Security, says the vast number of XP computers in China represents the potential staging ground for attacks if they become compromised. “If we’re talking tens of millions of machines that’s a significant pool to do DoS or other malicious attacks,” says Forshaw, who is a $100,000 winner of Microsoft’s BlueHat bounty prize for finding and reporting vulnerabilities in its Internet Explorer browser. “It might be in everyone’s best interest to get China or other countries to help them to migrate.” StatCounter, which tracks operating system use by country, says that in January Windows XP represented 50.46% of the operating systems in use in China. That’s down from 63% the year before, but still very significant. With China’s population upward of 1.3 billion, that represents a lot of machines, Forshaw says. […]