Microsoft has promised to offer software support for Windows 7-powered PC till January 14, 2020, but if you don't sign up for the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)-2 before mid-July, the company will not support your PC in times of crisis.
In late 2018, Microsoft had announced that it will be migrating from SHA 1 to the SHA 2, as the former's encryption algorithm is no more safe to the latest security threats and affect processor performance in the advent of cloud computing.
In that order, the company has confirmed it will be releasing SHA 2 on March 12 and will give Windows 7 consumers, around four months to update their PCs with the latest update and sign up for SHA 2.Or else from July 16, Microsoft will be not obligated to offer security coverage from new malware or any virus threats.
"Customers running legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) will be required to have SHA-2 code signing support installed on their devices by July 2019. Any devices without SHA-2 support will not be offered Windows updates after July 2019. To help prepare you for this change, we will release support for SHA-2 signing in 2019. Some older versions of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) will also receive SHA-2 support to properly deliver SHA-2 signed updates" Microsoft support page says.
In 2018, we witnessed several deadly cyber attacks such as WannaCry and many ransomware wreaked havoc both government and corporate giants across the world. Even Microsoft was blamed for WannaCry, as the company withheld releasing a proper security patch for Windows XP and Windows 7 devices in lieu of fees to offer extended support, leaving users vulnerable to cyber attacks.
This time Microsoft has given enough warnings and also time for the consumers to understand what the risks are if they don't sign up for the latest SHA-2 encryption security.