ATMs Soon to Be Highly Vulnerable to Cyberattacks


Nearly every automatic teller machine (ATM) in the world could be left open to cyberattacks next month when Microsoft cuts off tech support for the Windows XP Operating System.

The PCI Security Standards Council has issued a warning to banks that after 8 April, Microsoft will stop providing security updates and patches for XP, leaving 95 percent of the world’s ATMs susceptible to attacks. Should hackers discover new flaws in Windows XP – and there’s a good chance they will – there will be nothing to stop them.

Machines running XP Embedded (XPe) will not be affected; support for that version is set to last until 2016.

Making the switch is an expensive undertaking for banks. In the US, there are about 210,500 ATMs, and 200,000 of them run on Windows XP, according to London-based Retail Banking Research.  Many older machines will need to be updated one-by-one. Experts say the process could cost between US$1,000 and US$3,500 per ATM, CNN Money reported.

JPMorgan has purchased a custom one-year tech support agreement from Microsoft and plans to begin updating its 19,000 machines in July. Wells Fargo and Citi are reportedly updating their systems, though they did not provide details on their plans.


Related reading