Up to 95% of the world's ATMs could be left wide open to hackers next month when Microsoft ends tech support for the Windows XP operating system, the PCI Security Standards Council is warning.
This reminds me of when I lost my ATM card in a Standard Chartered ATM in Wan Chai, Hong Kong (yes beer was involved) and the ATM screen had all kinds of Windows popup errors. The realisation that some ATMs run on Windows gave me a feeling of disillusionment
and very deep disappointment.
In an age when mobile operating systems like Tizen, Android and iOS are being used to power Fitness Trackers, is it too far fetched to reason that something with a simple capability like an ATM should have a custom operating system? I don't think there was
ever a time when using windows to power an ATM was a good idea. Now that the ability is out there with the availability of so many OS options, it's time ATM manufaturers realised that change is innevitable and necessary...quickly
In India and much of Asia Pacific, ATMs are not just holes in the wall. They support realtime mobile topup, e-donations to temples and other places of religious worship, favorite transactions, bill payments, railway and event ticket bookings, SMS-based cash
withdrawals by non customers without card or smartphone, and many more innovative features. ATMs on some border cities even dispense cash in different currencies. Considering that some of these features have been around for over a decade, a reasonably powerful
OS like Windows XP is highly justified. Warts and all, XP is the best version of Windows in a long time, which partly explains why 95% of the world's ATMs still use this old OS. (From my not-so-stable Vista laptop).
© Finextra Research 2014