You may already have your calendar marked: April 8, 2014. That is when Microsoft pulls the plug on support for its venerable XP operating system and that means no more security updates for the more than 100 million PCs estimated to be running XP.

The bad news: this will trigger an avalanche of finely honed attacks on legacy XP machines, predicted Justin Strong, an XP expert with Novell. He predicted that, right now, cyber-criminal organizations are tearing down XP, hunting for vulnerabilities and that soon after the April 8 cutoff, they will unleash robots to probe targeted sites – including financial services companies.

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