MAIDENHEAD, UK — Avnet Embedded, a business group of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA, a business region of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT), announced the publication of an opinion paper showing that the forthcoming withdrawal of support for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system creates a huge cyber-criminal risk and that businesses are simply failing to take action against the dangers that it represents. Come April 8th 2014, the paper reports, these businesses will become immediate targets for hackers — putting users' and consumers' cash at risk all over the world.
In the paper, entitled “Panic? What Panic? Is the Industry in Denial Over the Death of XP?,” Software Director of Avnet Embedded Nick Donaldson explains that the withdrawal of XP support means the end of security patches and updates, leaving many thousands of XP-based payment devices worldwide vulnerable to “zero day” hacker exploits. These devices range from chip and PIN terminals, to EPOS tills, to toll barriers, parking machines, and many others.
Additionally, the withdrawal of support will mean that the PCI (Payments Card Industry) organisation that oversees the security of online transactions will no longer certify these devices and payment methods and may impose fines of up to £400,000 for non-compliance.