Are PH ATMs safe as Windows XP tech support ends?

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 08 2014 06:09 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2014 02:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines – As the deadline to upgrade automated teller machines (ATM) running on Windows XP expired today, local banks are looking at ways to combat security risks that may arise from the outdated software.

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy director Raymond Estioko, a “considerable number of banks” in the country have already submitted transition plans to ensure that the machines are protected against viruses and hackers.

Estioko said most of the banks made deals with Microsoft to continue providing security support during the transition to a new platform, such as Microsoft Windows 7.

Microsoft ended global tech support for Windows XP on April 8, which means ATMs running on the software will no longer be updated with security patches.

But Estioko said that based on the reports submitted by local banks, the central bank is confident that these banks will be able to “manage the risk.”

“Most of the banks have entered into an extended support agreement with Microsoft and their ATM vendors. In addition, they have also implemented compensating controls, they have strengthened their perimeter defense against hacking and other malicious software attacks,” he told ANC.

Estioko said other banks failed to submit a report, but assured ATM users that banks are taking steps to secure their transactions.

“They would be safe in using ATMs even with these events. We are closely monitoring dubious types of incidents at BSP,” he said.

Around 95 percent of ATMs worldwide are currently supported by Windows XP.

As early as 2007, Microsoft warned that it was planning to end support for Windows XP.