Security firm Malwarebytes has pledged to protect Windows XP for as long as possible in a bid to shield its users from the hacking rampage expected to occur after support from Microsoft ends on 8 April.
Malwarebytes made the promise while unveiling its new Premium anti-malware tool. The news comes after reports that criminals are hoarding exploits in preparation for an XP hacking rampage when support ends.
A Malwarebytes spokesman told V3 companies still need XP security as much of its customer base, which numbers in the hundreds of millions, are still using the decade-old operating system (OS).
“Malwarebytes is offering XP support because a lot of our current users are still using the OS, and they evidently still need protection. These make up 20 percent of the existing user base,” he said.
He added that Malwarebytes will continue to provide XP support for as long as it could. “We’re going to support XP as long as we’re technically able. The only time we’ll stop is if Microsoft does something like forcibly upgrade its XP customers,” he said.
The Premium tool features uses a custom heuristics engine designed to track malware's behaviour and advanced Anti-Rootkit technology to protect users from advanced threats.
Malwarebytes founder and CEO Marcin Kleczynski claims the combination of technologies will protect users from advanced threats other security services can't detect.
"Six years after the launch of the first version, and following 18 months of development and countless research hours, we are thrilled to announce Premium," he said.
"It has been a real labour of love. We are proud of what we have created and believe it builds upon the success of our existing products to give people a strong proactive countermeasure against today's advanced online threats."
The Premium service is available on the Malwarebytes store now and costs $25 per year. Each licence provides coverage for up to three PCs.
Malwarebytes is one of many security firms to warn of the dangers posed by the XP support cut-off. Paul Ducklin, senior security analyst at Sophos, told V3 in February that Microsoft's XP support cut-off could lead to a boom in global spam levels.
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