End of the line, shorty! Microsoft has been pushing hard for security these past few years. And as part of this renewed focus, the company is moving away from previous generation technologies.
Which, for the most part, are not as secure as newer ones.
One such technology that Redmond is putting its weight behind is Secure Hash Algorithm 2, more commonly known as SHA-2. The company has announced that Windows content from the previous generation is being pulled.
As in, files signed with SHA-1 that are published on the Microsoft Download Center will no longer be available come August 3.
Microsoft explains this, saying:
“This is the next step in our continued efforts to adopt Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2), which better meets modern security requirements and offers added protections from common attack vectors.”
Not the first time that the software titan has drifted away from SHA-1 content.
It is, after all, a legacy cryptographic hash that many in the security community believe to no longer be secure. Using it in digital certificates could allow an attacker to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, even man-in-the-middle attacks.
This is why the software titan introduced a major change in the summer of 2019, where it prevented devices that did not have SHA-2 support from receiving Windows support.
The Microsoft Download Center is home of everything that Microsoft has to offer, and it houses a lot of useful files, including older classic ones. All the updates shipped for Windows, driver kits, DirectX end user runtimes, you name it.
Sure, this notable change does not affect users of the modern versions of the operating system, like Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
But those still rocking Windows 7 will have to deal with this limitation via manual installs.