The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of the country, has issued an order to upgrade the software of all ATMs by June next year.
Currently, many of the ATMs in India use the old Windows XP software, for which the manufacturer Microsoft has stopped offering support.
The further use of this software at ATMs will increase its vulnerability to hackers due to its fragile security system.
In a circular, the central bank said: “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.”
The banks are required to implement various security measures in the interim including enabling BIOS password, disabling USB ports as well as applying the latest patches of operating system.
The upgrade of the ATM systems will be carried out in multiple phases.
Nearly 25% of the ATMs will be upgraded by September 2018 and 50% by the end of this year.
75% of the ATMs are expected to feature new software by March 2019, while the task is scheduled to be completed by June next year.