Aging ATM system open to cyber attack - FOX 13 News

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>>

  • Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:39:56 GMT
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.

  • Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:29 GMT
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
  • 50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:27:29 GMT
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

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