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Software ‘Armageddon’ Could Expose ATMs to Hackers

March 19, 2014 / Don Mennig

ABC News Reaches Out To Evolve IP for Information on the EOL of Windows XP

Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity in your bank accounts starting early next month, a software expert recommends. That’s because on April 8 Microsoft will cease to offer tech support for Windows XP, the system used by 95 percent of the world’s ATMs.

In the U.S., says Scott Kinka, chief technology officer for Evolve IP, a provider of such cloud-based services as virtual servers, virtual desktops and disaster recovery, some 200,000 ATMs rely on Windows XP. He calls April 8–the day Microsoft stops supporting the software—an “XP Armageddon.”

Only 15 percent of financial institutions, says Kinka, are expected to have compensated for the loss of support before the deadline. One reason, he tells ABC News, is the sheer magnitude and expense of switching over to different software. While new ATMs can be updated remotely, “over the wire,” older machines require a physical visit by a technician who makes a hands-on upgrade.

Machines whose software is not updated will become more vulnerable to hackers, he says. Read the full article here

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