Wouldn't it be great if XP users could continue to use their computers safely beyond April 2014?
Wouldn't it be great if XP users could continue to use their computers safely beyond April 2014? Read more
Do you, or your office, or a friend or a family member still use Windows XP?
After its release in 2001, Microsoft’s Windows XP became the most widely used and successful operating system on PCs around the world. Of course, several newer versions of Windows have been released since then. However, even today, thirteen years later, there are still hundreds of millions of systems using XP. However, in April 2014, support from Microsoft for XP will come to an end. This means that even critical security risks will no longer be corrected in Windows XP. Microsoft recommends that all XP users upgrade to a newer version of Windows, or even buy a new PC. However, this is not an easy step for many remaining XP users. In addition to the cost of a new system or a new release of Windows, there are conversion or migration costs, user training requirements, and each of these steps takes time. Many individuals, families and small businesses do not have the technical expertise to transfer applications, data files and system settings to a new operating system.
And some users face even bigger challenges: they have older software products that cannot run on newer Windows systems, or specific printers or other hardware that are not compatible with Windows 7 or 8.
We are building an alternative to those “solutions”. You may be facing such a puzzle yourself, either at home or at work. And you may have family members, friends or work colleagues who are frustrated by these difficult choices.
xpXtend offers a new alternative.
So, what is xpXtend? We are creating a tool specifically to help protect Windows XP systems and users from many future security risks, allowing these same users to continue to use XP on their existing PCs. xpXtend accomplishes this by combining several techniques to shield XP systems from various forms of malicious software.
Xpxtend installs a two-way “drawbridge” between your XP-based computer and the network (your local network in your home or office, as well as the internet). Whenever a program asks for network resources – a web site, an email message, a picture or video, etc. – xpXtend checks with the XProtection Network to see if the requested resources are known to be safe (on a “whitelist”) or unsafe (on a “blacklist”).
- If the requested resources are safe, the connection proceeds, immediately (and transparently). On the other hand, if the requested resources are unsafe (or simply unknown), the user will be warned, and XPXtend will recommend that the user should not proceed. Depending on the user’s permissions (determined when xpXtend is installed), the user may be able override the recommendation (either for this session, or by modifying the user-controlled whitelist).
We’ve designed xpXtend, and we’ve built a proof of concept. But we need your assistance to create the actual product, the full functionality, the whitelist of safe network resources and blacklist of dangerous ones, and to set up the servers to operate the XProtection Network to help keep XP-based systems safe online once Microsoft ceases to release software updates.
XP System Requirements
Windows XP with Service Pack 3, all current critical updates and patches from Microsoft via Microsoft Update, with hardware that meets Microsoft’s requirements for Windows XP, plus an internet connection
Will xpXtend work with SSL/HTTPS web sites? Yes, but with an important exception. A web server (such as your bank) can use Secure Sockets Layer (also known as HTTPS) to encrypt the communication between the computers, to prevent another user from eavesdropping on your web session. Because this information is encrypted, xpXtend cannot check each message to protect you; if criminals hack your bank’s site, and install malicious software on the bank’s site, xpXtend will not be able to prevent that malware from entering your computer. However, this is not unique to xpXtend or to Windows XP – any PC (using any operating system) will be vulnerable to that bank’s compromised web site. Therefore, it is likely that the malicious software will be reported—and repaired – quickly. In the meantime, xpXtend will receive updates from us, adding the compromised bank’s website to our blacklist, to help keep you from visiting the compromised site.
Are there other best practices that I should follow to help protect my Windows XP system? Yes, we maintain a list of recommended tools and methods to help keep your system safe. In addition, an installation of XPXtend will allow a user to override xpXtend’s protective services, and any user with Administrator privileges can uninstall xpXtend at any time. Therefore, any inexperienced or unsophisticated computer user will need training, supervision or monitoring to realize the benefits of xpXtend.
What is done, what is left to do?
We’ve defined the functionality and completed the design of the XProtection Network and the Windows application.
Your pledge will allow us to complete the project:
• to create the actual product with the functionality described above,
• to populate the whitelist of safe network resources and blacklist of dangerous ones,
• to build the mechanisms to update the application, the white- and blacklists, and the XProtection Network as new threats evolve, and
• to set up the servers to operate the XProtection Network to help keep XP-based systems safe online.
What will we use your pledge funds for?
Here's our development budget and plan:
Risks and challenges
Any complex software development project brings risks and challenges: schedule delays, scope creep, unanticipated bugs or other problems.
To mitigate those risks, this project
• already has a system design and defined functionality, project schedule and budget
• already has a working proof of concept that validates our ability to mediate network requests
• comes from a team of experienced software professionals who have already worked together for over 25 years, and successfully delivered over a dozen applications and systems.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)