The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent a notification to partners about the dangers of continuing to use Windows 7 after an operating system achieves end-of-life status. The FBI says companies running Windows 7 operation systems are now in greater risk of getting hacked. Windows 7 reached officially end of support in 2020.
The FBI urges companies to update devices to newer versions of the Windows operating system. To this day, Microsoft still allows Windows 7 systems to be upgraded to Windows 10 at no cost , even if this offer officially ended in July 2016.
The bureau acknowledged that older computers may not be compatible with Windows 10, and that migrating to a new OS could pose challenges, such as cost for new software and hardware. However, it said that, these challenges do not outweigh the loss of intellectual property and threats to an organization.
Furthermore, the FBI also cited several powerful Windows 7 vulnerabilities that have been frequently weaponized over the past few years. This includes the EternalBlue exploit (used in the original WannaCry) and the BlueKeep exploit (which allows attackers to break into Windows 7 devices that have their RDP endpoint enabled).
The agency said that despite the presence of patches for these issues, companies have failed to patch impacted systems. In this case, replacing older and abandoned systems may be the best solution overall.