Windows XP-Based ATMs Could Be Hackers’ Paradise
What could this mean for the banking and finance industry?
A recent study shows that 95 percent of American bank ATMs still run on Windows XP, but Windows is discontinuing support (including security updates) of the XP operating system as of April 8, 2014. What could this mean for the banking and finance industry? The main concern across the board is security, as hackers could soon have an unmonitored forum, putting data and end users at risk.
Some major banks are cutting deals with Microsoft to extend life support for their Windows XP machines while they replace their fleet of ATMs, according to CNN, but replacing ATM operating systems is a major undertaking. There are 210,500 bank ATMs in the United States, about 200,000 of which run on Windows XP, according to Retail Banking Research in London. The labor required to upgrade software, or even replace the entire computer inside an ATM, could cost anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500 apiece.
After April 8, bank customers might be less concerned to use the nondescript ATMs found in malls, bars and small convenience stores. These 208,000 independently-run kiosks make up the other half of the nation’s ATMs, and nearly all of them run on an even older, simpler operating system – Windows CE, which Microsoft still supports, CNN reports.
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