Majority of UK PC users still run vulnerable software programmes

Desktops

by CBR Staff Writer| 15 July 2014

Microsoft’s XML turns out to be the ‘most exposed’ software programme in the UK.

The majority of PC users in the UK are still failing to patch known vulnerabilities, with Adobe contributing to a major end-of-life risk, making themselves highly vulnerable to exploits a new report noted.

However, in a positive development, the number of users with an unpatched Microsoft OS has dropped from 12.4% to 9.7% during the second quarter, according to statistics from security firm Secunia.

This number of operating systems, however, does not include Microsoft's Windows XP, which went 'End-of-Life' at the beginning of the quarter.

About 69% of UK PC users were reportedly using an End-of-Life version of Adobe Flash Player 13, with the majority of private users not yet updated to version 14.

Secunia Research and Security director, Kasper Lindgaard, said that Version 13, which has unpatched vulnerabilities in it, is no longer supported by Adobe and no longer receives any security updates.

"By removing the program or updating to the latest version, users can instantly make their PCs a great deal more secure," Lindgaard added.

On the other hand, Microsoft's XML remains the 'most exposed' software programme, with 30% of the UK PCs are exposed by MSXML 4.

"The reason MSXML is topping the list is because of the way updates for the software are being handled: Normally, patches for Microsoft products are offered through Windows Update, but in the case of MSXML, patches are only offered for MSXML Service Pack 3," Lindgaard said.

"Since older MSXML Service Packs are considered End-of-Life, users are not being offered patches as they normally would.

"Private users still have a long way to go when it comes to vulnerability awareness, which means understanding that it is important to apply security patches to vulnerable software programmes to protect their PCs, and the data on them from hackers."

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