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Hacking Risk Grows for Outdated ATMs
One-dollar bills. Envelope-free deposits. Stamp dispensers. These are a few of the features that Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and other banks tout as the latest and greatest features of their fleets of ATMs. It’s hardly stuff to set the heart racing.
When ATMs were introduced more than 40 years ago, they were considered advanced technology. Today, not so much. There are 420,000 ATMs in the U.S., and on April 8, a deadline looms for nearly all of them that underscores how sluggishly the nation’s cash delivery system moves forward. That’s the day Microsoft (MSFT) cuts off tech support for Windows XP, meaning that ATMs running the software will no longer receive regular security patches and won’t be in compliance with industry standards.
Most machines that get upgraded will shift to Windows 7, an operating system that became available in October 2009. (Some companies get a bit of a reprieve: For ATMs using a stripped-down version of XP known as Windows XP Embedded, which is less susceptible to viruses, Microsoft support lasts until early 2016.)