RBI directs banks to open ATMs only after software update to prevent ransomare malware

The Reserve Bank of India ( RBI), country’s apex bank, has directed that India’s banks shall operate their ATM networks only after machines receive a Windows update so that they can be protected from WannaCry ransomware, a malware impacting systems across the world.

WannaCry has taken down computer systems all across the globe, encrypting up critical data and demanding bitcoins as ransom for decryption.

ATM machines, almost all of which run on Windows software with 60% having outdated Windows XP, are being seen as vulnerable for this attack

However, Microsoft has stated that it has developed and released a special update for Windows XP even though it is no longer serviced by the company.

However, ATM operators opine that customers don’t need to worry about their data or money. "The objective of ransomware is to shut down critical information in networks and prevent access to this data. In the case of ATMs there is no data stored in the machine. Neither is there storage of any kind of logic that will block transactions. Even if a machine were to get affected it can be reformatted and put to use immediately," said Manohar Bhoi, president (technology) at Electronic Payments and Services.