Russia has often been accused of being heavily involved in hacking activity. However, it seems the man at the top of the country did not get the memo on cybersecurity. Indeed, Russian president Vladimir Putin is reportedly still using Windows XP.
Of course, Windows XP is an obsolete version of Microsoft’s platform and no longer receives updates. In other words, XP is at risk of attack because of its lack of modern security infrastructure.
Putin is reportedly using Windows XP at both his office at the Kremlin and at his official Novo-Ogaryovo residence. Naturally, his desktop is of the Kremlin towers.
Microsoft stopped supporting XP with regular updates in April 2014. While the company will still release updates for specific security threats, Microsoft says machines running XP are “vulnerable to security risks and viruses”.
Why Putin is still using Windows XP is unclear. Furthermore, no information has been given on how this fits into the general cybersecurity infrastructure of the Kremlin. It is known that Putin is not a fan of the internet and believes it is operated by the CIA.
Windows XP was launched way back in 2001 and was one of the most successful operating systems ever. It was also the last time that the Russian government officially supported a Windows OS. Windows 10 is only allowed on devices that don’t hold state secrets.
Russia has become increasingly paranoid about internet use, including only allowing smartphones that have all Russian apps. The country is also moving away from Microsoft and Google software. Instead, Russia is adopting its own Astra OS, which is based on Linux.