Indian banking authorities have ruled that banks must remove all ATMs still running Windows XP. It has given them a deadline of June 2019 to remove or replace the cash machines.
In addition, it has demanded that banks upgrade to the latest version of Windows XP, add a BIOS password and disable any USB ports, giving them a deadline of just two months - such an order a worrying sign of lackadaisical security among India's banks.
Indian banks must have the latest operating systems up and running on at least 25 per cent of machines by the end of September, and all their ATMs by the end of June 2019.
By March 2019, banks are expected to have an anti-skimming method in place to protect customers' cards. And by the end of this year, the target is that half of machines should be running up-to-date services, with 75 per cent by March 2019.
The move by the Central Bank of India is necessary to force the country's banks to invest in new technology and upgrade their cash machine networks, as well as making them improve security.
The banks, in turn, will have to invest a considerable mount of money to get their systems up to the required standards, and risk being fined if they fail. By the time of this deadline, standard Windows XP will have been beyond its end-of-life for five years, while extended support for Windows Embedded Point-of-Service and Windows XP Embedded both finished in 2016.
At the time of writing, Windows XP still has a 2.85 per cent market share globally (based on figures from Netmarketshare), but that covers everything from IoT right up to workstations.
Nevertheless, it is still used on more machines than Windows 8.1, and significantly more than MacOS versions 10.12 and 10.13 combined.
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