India's banking system seems woefully obsolete when it comes to the technology powering its various appliances, and the country's central bank has had enough. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave local banks a year's time to get some basic security measures in place at ATMs across the country, and to upgrade those machines still running on Windows XP.
Microsoft may be willing to offer extended custom support for older versions of its OS for those who need it - and are willing to pay - but XP is now nearing its 17th birthday, and reached end of support more than five years ago.
The operating system's age, and its proliferation among banks, has prompted the Reserve Bank to ask banks to submit upgrade paths to it before, but private banks seem to have been dragging their feet. As a result, the government body has decided to take a stern approach and issued a hard deadline for banks to upgrade ATMs running Windows XP: June 2019.
RBI's plan requires banks to present compliance plans by next month, with Windows XP deprecation milestones of 25% by September 2018, 50% by December 2018 and 75% by March 2019. By June of next year, all ATMs in the country are expected to be upgraded.
Alongside these measures, India's monetary authority is also asking banks to add "secure ATMs with BIOS passwords, disable USB and autorun, patch OS and software, secure terminal access, time-based administration access, other measures" by August 2018 and the implementation of "anti-skimming and application whitelisting" measures by March next year.
Indian banks aren't the only ones in need of more secure operating systems. As we reported last year, a Russian bank's ATMs running Windows XP were almost laughably easy to hack using Sticky Keys.