Many of the 65,000 ATMs in the UK will become less secure once Microsoft ends extended support for the embedded version of its Windows XP operating system next month, according to security experts.
From January 2016, Microsoft will be issuing no further security patches or updates for flavours of Windows still used by the majority of ATMs in the UK (and in many other countries around the world).
Abatis warns that the lack of security updates puts the ATM network at greater risk from hacker attacks and malware infection.
This warning comes from a firm touting security technology for embedded systems, so there’s a clear self-interest at play, as experts have noted.
Nonetheless, it would be unwise to dismiss the issue of cash machine security on those grounds, not least because malware has already been used to infect ATMs and steal money through various scams.
Many of the cons have cropped up in hotspots such as Mexico and Russia and some have involved assistance from corrupt insiders.
Few, if any, have relied on exploiting operating system vulnerabilities, although lack of anti-malware protection has arguably been a factor in some frauds.