As Microsoft Windows XP ends support, ATMs could be at risk

24 March 2014

dogs-cash-machine Microsoft will be ending their support for Windows XP next month, but warned that a number of ATMs are still using the OS and they'll need upgrading or become vulnerable to attacks.

Even though XP is over a decade old, the operating system powers 95% of the world’s cash machines and even though Microsoft has been warning everyone for years about the support deadline, the ATM industry has been very slow to react.

It is concerning to think that ATMs will be running out-dated, unsupported systems.

Some quarters think that there's going to be a migration over to LINUX. David Tente of the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) says: "There is some heartburn in the industry," over Microsoft's control over when and how software is updated and that "some are looking at the possibility of using a non-Microsoft operating system to synch up their hardware and software upgrades."

"This isn't a Y2K thing, where we're expecting the financial system to shut down. But it's fairly serious," said Kurtis Johnson, an ATM expert.

If banks don't upgrade their ATMs customers could well be at risk as hackers search for new flaws which will end up going unnoticed and not addressed by the banks and Microsoft.

If you're feeling a bit jumpy about all this, then call your bank and see if they've updated their system and keep an eye on your bank statement just in case. As we've got little choice other than to use the ATMs, we can only hope British banks have taken all this seriously so we don't end up stung.

TOPICS:   Banking   Privacy


  • OlPeculier
    Because every ATM is connected to the internet...?
  • Andy A.
    write a cheque instead!
  • OlPeculier
    I've just remembered that ATM's use Windows XP embedded, which still has support from M$. So this is a non-story.
  • JonB
    Three choices to avoid ATMs: 1. Get cash out from a bank instead. 2. Get cashback when you buy something. 3. Don't use cash.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment