95 percent of the world’s ATMs run Windows XP (gulp)

cybercriminals use sms to extract cash from atms atm windows xp

Between evil Chrome extensions and massive data breaches like those suffered by Target recently and Adobe late last year, we have enough security concerns to worry about. However, soon, some of our most important machines may become vulnerable to malware: ATM machines. You know, those things you use to access your bank account and spit money at you.

NCR, the biggest supplier of ATM machines here in the states, says that a whopping 95 percent of the world’s money machines are running Windows XP. Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, roughly 420,000 ATMs call the U.S.A. home, and most of them run XP. Considering that as of April 8 of this year, anything running Windows XP will cease to receive full support from Microsoft, banks and any other business institution that makes ATMs a part of its business, you’d think that these firms would’ve been motivated to upgrade to Windows 7 long before considering Redmond has made the cutoff date plainly public for some time now. However, it is worth noting that Microsoft has recently announced an extension of its anti-malware support to mid-2015. 

You might be saying to yourself, “Well, why don’t they just upgrade to Windows 7?” That’s indeed part of the plan, but due to multiple factors, KAL, an outfit that specializes in software for ATM machines, says only 15 percent of U.S.-based ATMs will be running Windows 7 by the time April 8 rolls around. 

Considering the rash of hacking incidents launched on prominent institutions and corporations in the last year, and the recent revelations of smart home appliances like refridgerators going rogue due to malware, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the world’s ATMs once April 8 comes and goes.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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