India’s central bank RBI has asked banks to upgrade their ATMs, and uninstall Microsoft Windows XP from all systems by June 2019. The RBI directive, comes four years after Microsoft announced in 2014 that all the versions of the Windows XP build are deemed discontinued. Notably, RBI had earlier highlighted concerns about ATMs running on Windows XP and other vulnerable operating systems in April-17. In a confidential circular to banks, the RBI had raised issues about the ATMs running on Windows XP and other unsupported operating systems.
“A reference is also invited to our confidential Advisory No. 3/2017 dated March 06, 2017 and No. 13/2017 dated November 1, 2017 wherein the banks were advised to put in place, with immediate effect, suitable controls enumerated in the illustrative list of controls,” RBI said in a circular. Notably, following the discontinuation, Microsoft has not come out with rollout of security patches and new features for Windows XP. Further, the company had been recommending the newer Windows 10 OS for organisations, highlighting its improved security measures.
The RBI also noted that there has been slow progress on the part of the banks in addressing these issues. “As you may appreciate, the vulnerability arising from the banks’ ATMs operating on unsupported version of operating system and non implementation of other security measures, could potentially affect the interests of the banks’ customers adversely, apart from such occurrences, if any, impinging on the image of the bank,” RBI noted.
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