Aging ATM system open to cyber attack - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Aging ATM system open to cyber attack

Posted: Updated:
By FOX NEWS - Nearly all of the ATMs in the world are running the Windows XP operating system, introduced by Microsoft 13 years ago -- and incredibly out of date, as any tech enthusiast will tell you.

On April 8, Microsoft will officially end the tech support for the aging OS, which was replaced by Windows Vista in 2007, Windows 7 in 2009, Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 8.1 in 2013.

That means no further updates, including security patches to protect from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, for the 420,000 ATMs in the United States, more than 95 percent of which run XP, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“A lot of ATMs will have to either have their components upgraded or be discarded altogether and sold into the aftermarket—or just junked,” explained Suzanne Cluckey, the editor of ATM Marketplace, a news site that serves the industry.

If an ATM isn’t upgraded, it will continue to function, experts said. Withdrawals, deposits, and other transactions will work as they did before. But the machines will be more vulnerable to cyber robbers wielding malware and other attacks as time goes on.

Some of those aging machines will be upgraded to Windows 7 -- yes, the 4-year-old software, rather than the far newer versions on today’s computers. But few ATMs are even capable of that, said Aravinda Korala, chief executive officer of ATM software provider KAL.

“The ATM world is not really ready, and that’s not unusual,” he told Bloomberg. “ATMs move more slowly than PCs.” According to Korala, just 15 percent of U.S. ATMs will be ported to Windows 7 by that April 8 deadline.

Some banks said they were working on upgrades or buying one-year extensions. Upgrades to ATMs can cost thousands if new parts are required.

But here’s the rub: Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7 on Jan. 13, 2015, however, and extended support only runs 5 years longer.

In other words, the ATM industry is struggling to kick the software can a few miles down the road, and this issue will simply crop up again.

And that’s something you can bank on.

Read More
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices