Skip to main content

Fukushima power plant still operating on unsupported Windows XP

london metropolitan police windows xp updates microsoft broken glass 3 2
Considering how horrific the ‘fallout’ at the Fukushima nuclear power plant was following the meltdown of several of its reactors in 2011, it seems fair to give its operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), some leeway for overlooking certain non-critical aspects of its operation. However, keeping its computer systems updated isn’t one of those, and now an independent watchdog has called out the corporation for saving money by not upgrading its computers from the now-unsupported Windows XP.

“Upgrading the operating system must be done as swiftly as possible, and the firm must not push it back given the security risks,” the board of the independent auditing organization concluded, via NDTV.

The group is usually responsible for pointing out wasteful tax spending, but in this instance it felt the need to announce that TEPCO was taking unnecessary security risks with its systems by not upgrading. Indeed, Microsoft itself made a big point of advising people last year that they should stop using the OS as it had officially ended its extended support.

In response to the organization’s recommendations, TEPCO has now issued a statement indicating that it plans to upgrade its computers to a supported operating system in the near future. It went out of its way, though, to suggest that its decision had nothing to do with being called out on its lax security.

“The company decided, on its own initiative, to move up the deadline to update the software due to system security concerns,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Whatever the reason, TEPCO should consider bringing this forward as much as possible, as sophisticated contemporary malware has shown a penchant for going after important facilities like nuclear power stations. Especially malware created by state-sponsored hackers.

It’s even more serious if you factor in Japan’s relationship with its neighbors, North Korea and China, both known as among the world’s most prolific hacking nations.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Even Microsoft is running an unsupported Windows 11 PC
Person sitting and using an HP computer with Windows 11.

Windows 11 brings tons of great features to play with, but there is no hiding the fact that the operating system left a lot of PCs in the dust with its controversial minimum system requirements. That's caused folks to find ways to run Windows on unsupported systems, and it looks as though one of Microsoft's employees has done the same, too.

In a recent Windows Insider Webcast, Microsoft employee Claton Hendricks was sharing his screen to showcase some of the features that the company is working on for Windows 11 builds. In particular, Hendricks showcased new color options for the utilization area in Task Manager, but when toggling to the CPU information pane, an interesting Intel processor appeared listed in the right-hand pane of the redesigned app.

Read more
More PCs are running Windows XP than Windows 11
Person sitting and using an HP computer with Windows 11.

Even though Microsoft is heavily promoting its latest Windows 11 platform, adoption of the operating system has largely hit a roadblock. The latest market research suggests that Windows 11 is running on just 1.44% of all PCs on the market today, placing the latest OS behind older, legacy platforms like Windows XP and Windows 7.

For comparison, asset manager software provider Lansweeper's market data revealed that older, legacy operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows 7, command a larger share of the market than Windows 11.

Read more
Windows 11 to add A.I. auto framing, eye contact in video calls
Person sitting and using a Windows Surface computer with Windows 11.

Coming soon to Windows 11 are some features powered by A.I. that can help make you better connected with the folks on the other end of your Teams calls. Also in the works are added security features, to protect against malware and phishing.

Announced by Panos Panay, the first set of features includes voice clarity, automatic framing, portrait background blur, and eye contact for meetings on Windows 11. Some features might be hardware-dependent, and Panay didn't get into the specifics or give a release date. He instead mentioned that "we want to make that [meeting] experience feel more personal and more human."

Read more