Home / Tech / Vladimir Putin reportedly runs an outdated version of Windows on his computer, which is vulnerable to hacking (MSFT)

Vladimir Putin reportedly runs an outdated version of Windows on his computer, which is vulnerable to hacking (MSFT)

Putin computer

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin runs Windows XP on his computer, according to photos released by the Kremlin press office. 
  • Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP in 2014, so it’s more vulnerable to hacking attempts than more recent versions of Windows.
  • Putin is known for his distrust of the internet and smartphones.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin should update the operating system on his computer. Photos released by the Kremlin Press Service inadvertently revealed that his computer runs an outdated version of Windows, The Guardian reported.

The photos showed Putin’s computer was running Windows XP, an operating system that Microsoft stopped updating in 2014, making it more vulnerable to hacking. The risk isn’t just theoretical, either. In 2017, ransomware attacked over 20,000 victims, including the UK’s National Health Service, which was using outdated Windows XP software. Hospitals had to close, and operations were even cancelled.

Despite the track record of vulnerabilities, Windows XP was still the third most popular operating system in the world, and apparently Putin counts himself among its users. According to The Guardian, the photos show that Putin uses Windows XP in his Kremlin office and Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside of Moscow. Russian news website Open Media reported that the Russia’s Internet Protection Society head confirmed that the photos showed Windows XP running on both computers.

Putin is famously distrustful of the internet, and this attitude is making its way into Russian law. In May, he signed a bill allowing the government to create a Russia-only internet with a new domain name system to guard against hacks — a much more drastic step than upgrading old software. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Russia was setting up its own online encyclopedia in place of Wikipedia. A law that will go into effect in July will require all smartphones, smart TVs, and computers to come with Russian software pre-installed.

The Kremlin did not respond to a request for comment.

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