Windows XP: ATMs in Peril as Win XP Expiring in Two Months

January 20, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Windows XP, which reportedly runs on 95 percent of ATMs around the world, is expiring in just over two months.

XP, which was introduced 13 years ago, will expire April 8, meaning Microsoft will end technical support for the old operating system. No more patches, security updates, and other updates will be provided to protect the OS against viruses and malware.

Bloomberg Businessweek this week reported that 95 percent of all ATMs in the U.S. run XP.

“My bank operates an ATM that looks like it must be 20 years old, and there’s no way that it can support Windows 7,” Suzanne Cluckey, the editor of the ATM Marketplace website, told the publication. “A lot of ATMs will have to either have their components upgraded or be discarded altogether and sold into the aftermarket—or just junked.”

Aravinda Korala, who heads the ATM software provider KAL, told Bloomberg that only 15 percent of bank ATMs will use Windows 7 by April.

“The ATM world is not really ready, and that’s not unusual,” he said. “ATMs move more slowly than PCs.”

The ATM will still be able to distribute cash or handle deposits and withdrawals, but they’ll be more vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks.

Bloomberg notes that newer ATMs should be able to easily upgrade to a newer version of Windows via their network. But older ATMs–like ones in convenience stores–will have to be upgraded one by one.

Last week, Microsoft announced it would extend Windows XP anti-malware updates for another year.

“Microsoft has announced the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. After this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system*. To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015,” the company said in a blog.

It added: “This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures. Our research shows that the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited. Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape.”