How Software Armageddon Affects ATM Software Vulnerability


Microsoft announces that they will stop catering technical support to Windows XP for Automated Teller Machine on 8th of April, 2014. This means that they will cease operational support to the operating system that is used by 95 percent of ATMs in the United States. Software experts, therefore, advises the public to become vigilant and protect their bank transactions from any suspicious activities as early as the last week of this quarter.

IT experts coined this cease support by Microsoft as the “XP Armageddon”. The software of newer ATMs can be updated over the wire while old ATMs require manual upgrade by technicians. Old ATMs’ vulnerability, therefore, is said to be exposed to hackers and could potentially pose threat to all ATM users all over the US. However, ATM manufacturers cleared that consumer’s accounts are secured and insured by FDIC or the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation. This means that even if hackers do extract money from depositors, the amount will be fully recovered to them by the FDIC. The body that should worry about this software Armageddon is the banks. Any bank that would still run XP without the tech support of Windows will be liable for fraud.

The deadline for the “XP Armageddon”, therefore, is not intended to pose threat to consumers but for the prompt response of banks to switch to different software. Consumers need not to withdraw their savings from the bank and keep it somewhere inside their homes. Microsoft offers Windows 7 as the most logical and likely successor of Windows XP. The banks are given until April 8 if they upgrade their ATM’s operating system to Windows 7 or to switch to other OS.

The public is still advised to keep a watchful eye and closely monitor their bank activities and could also participate in pushing their banks to finalize their decision regarding the matter.