Information Technology Services Centre - Reminder: Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support Ends on 8 April 2014
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  • Reminder: Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support Ends on 8 April 2014

    1. Background

      Microsoft ended Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 support on 8 April 2014 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx). After this day, there has been no further security updates, patches and support available from Microsoft. Computers currently running on Windows XP SP3 or Office 2003 are highly vulnerable to security attacks without the support. When Microsoft stops their support to Windows XP and Office 2003, ITSC is also not able to provide any assistance or protection for these computers in cases of new security threats. No Windows XP should be connecting to the campus network when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP.

    2. End of Support Date

      Below is the end of support date of various products.

      Products End of Support Date
      Windows XP and Office 2003 April 8, 2014
      Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 R2 for Windows Workstations (Version 6.0.4.1424) October 31, 2014
      Windows 2003 Server* July 14, 2015
      Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 R2 for Windows Workstations (Version 6.0.4.1611) December 31, 2015

      * Departments should also budget and prepare for the upgrade of their Windows 2003 server.

    3. Departmental Computers

      Department LAN administrators and IT professionals have been contacted to provide with technical advices on this transition - upgrade/replace/obsolete their Windows XP and Office 2003 computers. In planning for an upgrade or replacement, departments should observe the University Software Standard. This standard is compulsory for administrative units and advisory for academic, research and other services units. If you are a departmental LAN admin but have not yet registered to our contact list, please register to it now at CUHK LAN Administrators Resources Website (https://satcom.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/)

    4. Personal Computers

      If you need to continue using our ResNet or Wi-Fi or VPN service, you should upgrade your personal computers from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 and Office 2010. Staff users have the right to run one copy of the software, for school-related purposes only, on a home PC. Please visit here for details.
      Set up for Windows 7 environment can be found at

    5. Restricting Windows XP on Campus Network at CUHK (A message from the Provost)

      Sender: Provost's Office <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Subject: Restricting Windows XP on Campus Network at CUHK
      Date: 12 Mar 2014
      Dear all,

      What is happening: Windows XP to be decommissioned and Window XP machines to be blocked from CUHK campus network

      Restricting Windows XP on Campus Network at CUHK

      Microsoft has announced that on 8 April, 2014, they will stop supporting Windows XP. When this happens there will no longer be security patches or upgrades. XP computers will not be protected against computer malware released after this date. Malware, such as viruses or trojans, infects computers, searches for personal information, and can use an infected computer to attack other computers and websites. The end of vendor support means security vulnerabilities in Windows XP will no longer be patched, and a compromised computer can potentially release University data and attack University resources, leaving our campus network vulnerable to attack.

      To protect University users and our IT resources, the Administrative and Planning Committee (AAPC) of the University has decided on 11 March, 2014, that as of 1 June, 2014, all Windows XP machines will be blocked from connecting to the campus network including, but not be limited to, departmental networks, Central WiFi, Resnet, Classnet and VPN. (A deadline later than 8 April, 2014, has been set in order to allow the replacement of non-upgradeable computers that are on back order. Otherwise, the upgrade to Windows 7/8 of all remaining computers on campus will be completed by 8 April, 2014.) This includes both XP machines on campus and those connecting to campus via ITSC VPN service. A blocked computer will not be able to access the Internet, internal campus sites, or other campus IT resources.

      No restriction, however, will be applied to computers outside of campus network that access servers on campus network (such as CUHK Web servers, CWEM servers or CUSIS servers). Those connections are usually launched by visitors, alumni, or remote mail readers. While not recommended, a user can continue to access campus email, including the Exchange email, from an off-campus XP computer.

      Stepping up Security for Non-replaceable Windows XP Machines by Isolating Them From Free Access to IP Addresses and Other Computers
      It is advisable to disallow Windows XP computers to further connect to the campus network. However, about 200 machines, due to critical compatibility issues, have been identified that need to keep running Windows XP after the end of support. They are found to be computers controlling specific lab equipment which could not run in newer operating systems, special-purpose machines such as those controlling Octopus readers or certain door access control systems. For machines that cannot be migrated from Windows XP, the University has decided to step up the regulatory control measures in order to maintain the stability of the campus computing systems. In this connection, these machines will only be useable to access specific predefined IP addresses using predefined ports and not allowed to access any other computers. Their network connections will further be "hardened" in order for these computers to be "invisible" from the rest of the network.

      Coordinating Central Service to Evaluate the Best Course of Action to Bring These Machines into Compliance for April 8th
      For the past two months, ITSC has been coordinating with all faculties and administrative units to provide assistance. It has sent targeted emails to all users connecting to the campus network from Windows XP machines and is working to track down the remaining Windows XP machines running in the Faculty/Research Institute/Administrative Units. In the coming weeks a representative of ITSC or the local IT User Support Unit will be contacting faculty and staff that are running Windows XP to evaluate the best course of action. The University is kept up to date with respect to the upgrade/replacement timeline at the level of each single affected machine in order to bring all campus computers into compliance with the University policy.
      For most machines the best course of action will simply be to upgrade to Windows 7/8 or other supported operating systems before April 8th. If the computer's hardware cannot support a newer version of Windows, replacement of the machines is advisable if the user wants to continue connecting to the campus network.
      General Information About the University Software Standards and FAQ

      Please browse the ITSC designated webpage on upgrade/replace/obsolete Windows XP and support services for further information.

      Yours Sincerely,
      Benjamin W. Wah
      Provost

    6. Training

      To get familiar with the new interface with Windows 7 and Office 2010, you can watch the training video and get the training notes
      Instructor-led trainings for staff users will be provided again during Mar-Jun. The main objectives of these trainings are to introduce

      • The major differences between the Windows XP / Office 2003 and Windows 7 / Office 2010, and
      • The basic functions to meet daily work needs

      Visit http://training.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/index.aspx for Mar registration and the detailed course outline. Identical training sessions will be re-run from Apr until Jun. Details will be announced in coming issues of ITSC Digest.

    7. FAQs

      1. What is the end of support of WinXP about and its impact?
        Microsoft is going to end Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 support on April 8th 2014 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx). After this day, there will be no further security updates, patches and support available from Microsoft. Computers running on Windows XP SP3 or Office 2003 will therefore becoming highly vulnerable to security attacks.
        Without the security updates, patches and support, ITSC will not able to provide any assistance or protection for these computers in cases of new security threats.

      2. I do not have enough budget or money to replace my WinXP computer with a new one, can I just upgrade it to newer versions of Windows?
        May be by adding more memory and disk storage. However, it depends on the age of the computer. A computer <= 5 years old stands a better chance. Can consult ITSC for further advice.

      3. Some apps cannot run on newer versions of Windows. What should I do?
        Check with the developers, including ITSC, of these apps for an upgrade, replacement or get around solution. Can consider running the apps in a VM environment.

      4. My WinXP computer does not connect to the Internet. Can I not upgrade/replace it?
        Yes.

      5. I really don’t have any budget or money to replace or upgrade my WinXP computer. What should I do?
        If the computer is connected to the Internet, you must disconnect it. If it is not connected to the Internet, you can leave it alone and harden it.

      6. Is WinXP going to be delisted from the University Software Standard? If yes, when?
        Yes and in February 2014.

      7. Can ITSC upgrade or replace my WinXP computer?
        ITSC is happy to provide information, consultation and advice about upgrading or replacing a WinXP computer to new version of Windows. But it is the department/unit’s responsibility to upgrade/replace their computers.
    8. Background

      1. 溫馨提示:Windows XP 將於 4 月 8 日停止更新,升級吧! http://chinese.engadget.com/2014/01/18/windows-xp-update-end/
      2. Too many PCs are still running Windows XP
        http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/51393
      3. How businesses can cope with the looming Windows XP deadline
        http://www.zdnet.com/how-businesses-can-cope-with-the-looming-windows-xp-deadline-7000021812/
      4. Windows XP end of support in April: Three more questions answered
        http://www.zdnet.com/windows-xp-end-of-support-in-april-three-more-questions-answered-7000025151/
      5. Legacy apps holding you hostage? 7 ways to safely migrate off Windows XP
        http://betanews.com/2013/10/14/legacy-apps-holding-you-hostage-7-ways-to-safely-migrate-off-windows-xp/
      6. List of Windows 7 Upgrade Capable Systems
      7. Windows XP End of Support (Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre) https://www.hkcert.org/win-xp