Now a days, all electronic device are being upgraded to the new OS. At present, we have the latest Windows OS – Windows 8, but interestingly, 95% of ATM machines in the world still run on the old Windows OS, Windows XP.
Windows XP was unveiled by Microsoft back in 2001 and it became immensely popular with the common users as well as the enterprise sector alike. Within a very short time, it was installed in hundreds of millions of computers, primarily because it coupled a good amount of security with the ease of a very intuitive user interface. Later this OS was being installed in ATM machines gradually.
A couple of weeks ago we reported that if the ATM machines run on Windows XP and if it contains a public USB port, then hackers can hack the ATM machine and withdraw money. We have also covered a report that Microsoft will abandon the Windows XP OS in April of this year, which means that all security updates for Windows XP will end. Since Microsoft won’t be ramping up the security of the OS any more, hackers would be able to discover new exploits and using them, and will create new attacks.
While this may not be a concern to users as many of them abandoned using Windows XP long before, and who didn’t do it then, now most of them have upgraded their systems either to Windows 7 or Windows 8. But the ATM machines that run on Windows XP have become a concerned issue.
BusinessWeek has claimed that most of the active ATMs in the world run on Microsoft’s Windows XP OS and 95% of the active ATMs in the world will still be powered by Windows XP, although there’ll be no more support from Microsoft. This means, the ATM machines are surely going to be vulnerable to external hacks and the like.
It is high time that the ATM machines should be upgraded to Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS. Suzanne Cluckey, the editor of ATM Marketplace, said, “A lot of ATMs will have to either have their components upgraded or be discarded altogether and sold into the aftermarket—or just junked.”
Lets just hope that owners of the ATM machines will take the necessary steps shortly, and this is where “better late than never” comes in.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
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