US bank ATMs face Windows XP security deadline - FOX 13 News

US bank ATMs face Windows XP security deadline

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Big changes at Microsoft could be leaving your money at risk at the banks you trust. Starting today, Microsoft is ending support for a major software system that many of the country's ATMs sill use.

There is concern that the lack of security updates could leave them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

We might not think of them as computers, but about 95 percent of ATMs around the world are supported by Windows XP. Only a third of the 2.2 million ATMs using the software have been upgraded, as Microsoft stops issuing security updates for the program.

The U.S. is home to a fifth of ATMs worldwide. Many major banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America are striking deals with the company to keep supporting their machines until they're upgraded.

The extent of the risk is unclear, and experts around the country go back-and-forth on what could happen.

"This is a controlled network. The banks don't want people on this network anyway. If the attacker can't get to the network, the ATMs are safe," professor of computer science at Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Steven Bellovin said.

According to one computer expert, there are still ways to secure XP-supported ATMs. Application control platforms could help prevent hackers from gaining access. 

"If new applications that get introduced to it that are good or bad, or viruses or not, they won't be able to run," said Dan Guido, who works in the computer science and engineering wing at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

Federal regulators warned earlier this month that ATMs have been a target of cyberattacks.

The hacks include malware on a bank's network, which allows stolen account information to be used to withdraw funds once ATM settings are changed.

Windows XP hit the market in 2001. Microsoft announced it would end support back in 2007.

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