In terms of computer software, the Windows XP operating system is old, having been first introduced in 2001.  Approximately 95% of the world’s ATMs use this software as their operating system.  The problem is that Microsoft is phasing out this operating system and will not longer be providing security patches and updates for Windows XP after April 8th.  This means that for those banks who have not switched to a new operating system, they will be left vulnerable to the attacks of hackers who will no longer find themselves remedying newly discovered vulnerabilities.   The results could be devastating.  Banks around the world are already planning to switch to new operating systems, but it has been estimated that only a third of banks will make the necessary switch to a new system before the April 8th deadline.  This would leave those banks still running Windows XP using unsupported software which, according to the Department of Homeland Security will result in an “elevated risk to cybersecurity dangers.”


As  prudent bank customer, you should ask your bank manager what operating system they are using for their ATMs and if it is Windows XP, what they intend to do about Microsoft no longer providing security updates.  You may wish to consider limiting your ATM use to banks that you know have updated their operating system software.  As always, you should also monitor your bank account’s activities for any fraudulent charges, which may or may not be tied to your use of an ATM.