India seeks to avoid ATM tears from WannaCry ransomware
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is telling the nation’s banks to operate their ATM networks only after the machines receive a Windows update to protect them from the WannaCry ransomware affecting systems across the globe.
The computer malware has spread across 150 countries and takes over users’ files with a demand of $300 to restore them.
According to the Times of India, ATM machines in the country are “seen as being vulnerable since almost all of them run on Windows software”. Also, over 60% of the 225,000 ATMs in the country run on the “outdated” Windows XP.
However, in response, Microsoft states it has developed and released a special update for Windows XP although this particular version is no longer serviced by the tech giant.
ATM operators that spoke to the Times of India say that there is no threat to customer data on money. In the case of ATMs there is no data stored in the machine and “neither is there storage of any kind of logic that will block transactions”.
Manohar Bhoi, president (technology) at Electronic Payments and Services, told the Times of India that “even if a machine were to get affected it can be reformatted and put to use immediately”.
Applying software patches is done by the vendors who supply the ATM. According to Bhoi, this can be done remotely and usually the vendors run their tests on the patch before an update.