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More ATM Security Questions Answered

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     In less than a month Microsoft cuts off tech support for Windows XP which is what the vast majority of bank ATM's across the country run on. It has some concerned about keeping customer information safe if terminals aren't quickly upgraded.

     New Era Field Services in Davenport is a third arty service provider of ATM's for financial institutions, installing and providing upkeep on terminals throughout the area. Because Windows XP is being phased out work is underway to migrate ATM's to another system, like Windows 7.

     "This will be a major undertaking nationwide with all the ATM's so it will take some time," said Dwayne Forgie, Field Services Manager for New Era Field Services.

    Forgie says the end of support for XP should have little impact on terminals. Unlike your PC,  the automatic security updates Microsoft sends out do not apply to the ATM environment. They're not accessible over the web and ATM's run on what's called a VPN, or virtual private network.

     "That's how they communicate set up directly with the network. They use routers so it's locked down so no other network traffic can get into them," said Forgie.

      Though he tells us their isolation doesn't mean they're 100% impenetrable. "Nothing is hacker proof but these networks are very good at what they do. They're locked down pretty good."
      One network which drives a majority of ATM terminals in Iowa and Illinois is SHAZAM. A company spokesperson wrote, "SHAZAM adds additional protection by how we provision and support the terminal... We will not drop support of Windows XP this April."

     "We will support and certify the new operating system, once the ATM/hardware vendor sends us the releases of the (Windows 7 version)"

     You can always check with your financial institution to see if an ATM has been upgraded to a new operating system.


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