Home » Security » ATMs Forced To Upgrade Due Windows XP Support Deadline

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There are reportedly 420,000 ATMs in the U.S. that still run Windows XP. As of April 8th ATMs running Windows XP will no longer receive regular security patches and won’t be in compliance with industry standards. Most machines that get upgraded will shift to Windows 7, an operating system that became available in October 2009. Some companies get a bit of a reprieve: For ATMs using a stripped-down version of XP known as Windows XP Embedded, which is less susceptible to virus and malware attacks.

Banks are already purchasing extended support agreements from Microsoft. Microsoft is selling custom tech support agreements that extend the life of Windows XP, although the cost can soar quickly multiplying by a factor of five in the second year. JPMorgan is buying a one-year extension and will start converting its machines to Windows 7 in July about 3,000 of its 19,000 ATMs need enhancements before the process can begin. Wells Fargo says that the company is working with Microsoft and ATM manufacturers to upgrade its machines.

The cost to upgrade a single ATM to Windows 7 can range from a few hundred dollars if its hardware is adequate to thousands of dollars if new components are required. ATMs whose operators ignore the deadline will continue to function they will just become more vulnerable to malware and other attacks against weaknesses discovered over time in Windows XP.

The ATM industry has faced deadlines of this kind before new encryption standards became mandatory in 2002. In 2011 banks had to upgrade ATMs with audio technology to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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