The software of sixty nine ATMs of two banks in Gautam Budh Nagar are being upgraded to thwart an attack from the WannaCry worm, which locks the operating system and demands a ransom. The lead bank manager in the district said that ATMs of most banks have already been upgraded whereas the ATMs of two banks are likely to be upgraded by Thursday.
According to officials, Gautam Budh Nagar has a presence of 486 branches of 56 banks. These banks have over 750 ATMs, the majority of which are working properly.
“There is no issue with the ATMs of major banks. The software upgrade is required only for the ATMs of two banks. One of these banks has nearly 150 ATMs and 25 of these are being updated. The other bank has 193 ATMs, 44 of which will be updated,” AK Singh, lead bank manager, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
“The process is likely to be completed by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Despite the upgrade process, withdrawals have not suffered,” he said.
Officials said that the operating systems are being upgraded from Windows XP to a higher version. At least 80% of the ATMs in India operate on Windows XP and use a firmware that limits the machine’s activities to bare basics, such as dispensing cash on request and checking the account balance.
Other activities are blacklisted, preventing a ransomware from attacking an ATM. There have been speculations over the safety of ATMs after WannaCry crippled more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries since last Friday.
Users of systems affected by the virus are asked to pay a ransom of $300 in Bitcoin to unlock the infected system. Experts cautioned banks to update their software to counter the threat.
The worm takes advantage of a Windows vulnerability, for which Microsoft released a security patch in March. WannaCry has struck at banks, hospitals and government agencies across the globe.
Noida’s cyber security cell also issued an advisory to residents on Tuesday.