Yesterday Microsoft officially ended technical support for its Windows XP program, which is still used by 95% of the world’s ATMs. Many people are justifiably concerned about the security of the ATMs that they use and if it is safe to still use them or are they in serious jeopardy of having their accounts hacked. Although April 8th was the day that Microsoft indicated that it would no longer issue technical updates to the Windows XP operating system, some ATMs work on a variation of the Windows XP operating system called Windows Embedded. Security updates for Windows Embedded will continue to be issued until January 12, 2016. In addition, some major banks have made private arrangements for security updates from Microsoft for Windows XP. JPMorgan, for instance has made private arrangements with Microsoft for updates for another year. However, the basic fact is that Microsoft is stopping further updates of Microsoft XP because it is an outdated system and the cost of constantly patching it does not make sense. Anyone using Windows XP whether commercially or privately should update to another operating system as soon as possible.
Ask your bank what it is doing about the Windows XP operating system and if they tell you that they are still able to use it in the short run, ask them what their intentions are in the long run because security patches are not a solution to the vulnerabilities that have already been identified in the Windows XP operating system. If your account is hacked due to a flaw in the Microsoft XP operating system running an ATM that you use, you will not be responsible for any funds lost if you notify the bank right away and it is a good idea to monitor your account online every few days to make sure that it is secure. If you use Windows XP on your home devices, you too are at risk and should update your operating system to another system as soon as possible.