The support for Windows XP will end soon. April 8th in fact. This means that existing installations of Windows XP, and there are many around the world will be rendered vulnerable to exploits. Windows XP has been around since 2001 and it is time that is was replaced by something better. Windows 7 is still supported until 2015, this means that a business could run this operating system until then and an upgrade to Windows 8 would be required. But the Modern UI interface is a turn-off for many potential consumers. They should have the option of maintaining the Windows 7 start menu if they wish instead of having to pin most-used icons to the taskbar and/or the Modern UI start screen. I have Windows 8.1 build 9600 installed on my machine and I quite like it, but the search function is very slow indeed. That must be fixed. Why are Redmond forcing consumers onto Windows 8 when it has such a poor reception? But seriously, Windows XP is seriously outdated. I am running it in a VM and I am curious how long it will last with no Anti-Virus to protect it. Software Remote Access Trojans such as DarkComet are to be very popular soon. And of course the massive amount of known zero-day holes and vulnerabilities that will go unpatched. There is a guide here: http://scx010c075.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/exploit-windows-xp-sp3-using-metasploit.html. This explains how to use the Metasploit framework in Kali Linux or Backtrack to find and exploit vulnerabilities in Windows XP Service Pack 3.
That will be a useful site to bookmark for future reference. The Armitage application may be used to attack client machines. Since XP has such old code in it, there should be a massive botnet of infected computers quite soon. Here is another guide using Metasploit: http://www.binarytides.com/hack-windows-xp-metasploit/. The key to attacking Windows XP is the fact that it will no longer be supported. So finding new unpatched vulnerabilities in the operating system will allow unfettered access to the inner workings of the Registry and the users files. This on top of the ASUS router vulnerability that allows Anonymous FTP access to countless ASUS routers and the hard drives connected to the USB ports. This has resulted in many users having their private documents and files stolen without their knowledge. That is a serious failure on the part of the ASUS designers. This is why security needs to come to the forefront in IT. Data theft can lead to identity theft and this can result in serious damage to a person. You are better off leaving the media server inside your LAN and not port forwarding anything out to the Internet. That way, you can access your movies and music, but the files are safe from outside threats. Due to NAT, you would have only one external IP address, but many internal IP addresses. This is the best way to configure a network. And having a good firewall also helps. But if your operating system is not secure enough, then you have a problem. That is why other operating systems such as Linux and newer versions of Windows are a better alternative to Windows XP.