Warning! Most ATMs in India are vulnerable to attacks

Jayadevan PK February 5, 2017

Three out of four ATMs in India might be vulnerable to attacks, because they run on an outdated operating system, which is no longer supported by Microsoft.

According to a statement by India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, about 70% of ATMs in India run on Windows XP operating system, which is no longer supported by its maker Microsoft.

India’s central bank has asked vendors to upgrade the software and also has asked all banks to implement Cyber Security Framework in June last year, he informed the parliament.

In response to a question in the parliament on Friday, Jaitley said: “Owing to the fact that the ATMs run on a closed user network, they are inherently less vulnerable.” He also said that vendors have their own system of managing security.

While India is making a huge push to make it a cashless economy, there’s serious concern over its digital security infrastructure. There is much ambiguity over India’s cyber security budget, disclosure norms and best practices. Meanwhile, cyber attacks are on the rise in the country.

In October last year, nearly 3.2 million debit card details were stolen from various banks. Banks had quietly started reissuing debit cards to customers. But no disclosures were made until a news report in The Economic Times put a spotlight on the issue.