India orders that all ATMs upgrade from Windows XP within 12 months
INDIAN AUTHORITIES are putting their collective foot down with banks who are still using Windows XP in their ATMs.
The Central Banking Authority of India RBI has told banks that they have one year to sort the mess out - that's June 2019 - or they will be fined.
In the shorter term, banks have two months in which to upgrade to the latest version of Windows XP, add a BIOS password and disable any USB ports. All pretty obvious stuff, except that so far, there's been something of a disconnect between "obvious" and "actually doing it".
Banks should have the latest operating systems up and running on at least 25 per cent of machines by the end of September, and all their ATMs by the end of June 2019.
By March 2019, banks are expected to have an anti-skimming method in place to protect cards. And by the end of this year, the target is to have half of machines running up to date services, with 75 per cent by March 2019.
The fact of the matter is, despite being an emerging super-state in terms of finance, the cash machine network is one area where there has been a complete failure to move with the times.
As such, the banks will have to throw a lot of money at getting their systems up to code. By the time of this deadline, Windows XP will have been beyond End of Life for five years.
At the time of writing, Windows XP has a 2.85 per cent market share globally (based on figures from Netmarketshare), but that covers everything from IoT right up to workstations. Nevertheless, it is still used on more machines that Windows 8.1 and significantly more than macOS versions 10.12 and 10.13 combined.
The news comes as a rat was discovered last week in an ATM in the North East of India, having been out of service for over three weeks. During that time, the rat had literally eaten itself to death, gorging on 1.3m Rupees (about £14,000).
We're not convinced that switching from Windows XP would have made much difference to that one.