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XP expired ATM machine lay gun US Bank was forced to upgrade Win 7 system

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[Security Focus Guide] As long as hackers find the latest vulnerabilities in Windows XP after April they can steal user funds.


According to data 85% of ATMs in the United States are currently running on Windows XP and Microsoft has announced that it will Service support for Windows XP system was officially stopped on April 8th this year. This means that Microsoft will no longer release updates and patches for the security vulnerabilities of Windows XP and all ATMs operating on this system will face huge security risks.

'This is not something similar to the'millennium bug' that makes us want the banking system to shut down but it is also worthy of our attention.' Kurtis Johnson (Kurtis Johnson an ATM expert at the American manufacturer Triton) Johnson) said.

Indeed if the world’s major banks did not upgrade their ATMs to Windows 7 or Windows 8 before April 8 the assets of almost all bank customers in the United States would be at risk. Because as long as hackers find the latest vulnerabilities in Windows XP after April they can use these vulnerabilities unscrupulously to launch attacks. At present we do not know how hackers will launch attacks on this situation in the future but analysis believes that they are very likely to steal user credit card accounts and PIN codes by hacking ATMs.

It is reported that many banks are currently seeking to reach a special agreement with Microsoft. The agreement will ensure that Microsoft extends the technical and service support for the ATM machines of the contracting party for one year to ensure that these banks have time Upgrade the device to a newer system. Among them JP Morgan has signed this contract with Microsoft and plans to upgrade the ATMs of its Chase Bank in June this year. The upgraded system will run on Windows 7. At the same time Citibank and Wells Fargo also stated that they will upgrade their ATM systems but did not give more details on this. However Bank of America declined to comment on this.

The upgrade project is huge

To be sure upgrading ATMs across the United States is a huge project. According to data provided by Retail Banking Research headquartered in London England there are currently a total of 21500 ATMs in the United States of which about 200000 are based on Windows XP. Moreover the ATM system of a certain bank generally needs to be upgraded at the same time and the bank may also need to update its entire computer system at the same time. Therefore some analysts believe that the average cost for banks to upgrade each ATM machine may be as high as US$1000-3500.

In this regard Wes Dunn the head of sales at ATM manufacturer Genmega said: “Once they (the banking industry) start to adopt a certain operating system they want to be as long as possible. Time to use this system.'

It has to be said that modern ATMs are still running on outdated home operating systems. It sounds really uninteresting and financial industry experts actually When banks tried to make ATM machines run based on home PC systems they strongly opposed this approach. At that time they called for ATM to operate on systems with a smaller audience and more streamlined such as the Linux platform. However the banking industry has always believed that the familiar operating interface and text style of the Microsoft Windows operating system are more suitable for consumers.

NCR spokesperson Jeff Dudash a global leader in consumer transaction technology said: “The ATM that upgrades to Windows 7 or Windows 8 will give consumers a similar way to using smartphones and tablets. The smooth operation experience of the computer.'

Another American ATM manufacturer Diebold revealed that the banking industry hopes to use this opportunity to install updated card readers for ATMs to be compatible with more secure 'chips'. 'Password' (Chip-and-Pin this type of card has a built-in chip that can store encrypted information including a four-digit PIN code) card. In fact this type of card has been popularized in many parts of the world but the United States has not yet embraced this technology.

It is worth mentioning that those banks that wish to upgrade the ATM hardware at the same time may be able to upgrade the built-in ATM system more easily in the future. Because the existing technology has allowed major companies to push software updates through the network without the need to send people to carry out this work.

Ironically there are still up to 208000 independent ATMs jointly built by Triton Genmega and Nautilus Hyosung in the United States including shopping malls bars and convenience stores. Moreover the systems that these ATMs run are even older and simpler Windows CE systems. However at present Microsoft officials are still providing support for this system so for now consumers can still rest assured to put their credit cards into these machines.

?What are the ways to upgrade XP to Win8 operating system?

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