Windows to Power ATMs

While the infamous blue screen of death may haunt many desktop computer users, the banking industry and security experts dismiss the fear that someone will break into Windows-powered ATMs to empty bank accounts. For one, the ATMs will use a stripped-down version of Windows NT that is quite different from the software on desktop computers.

“What Microsoft actually sells to the banks for ATM use is a cut-down version of Windows that doesn’t contain things like Web servers,” said Ross Anderson, a researcher in Cambridge, England, and author of Security Engineering. “They have tried to cut out the unnecessary rubbish that clutters up the typical PC. How good a job they’ve done, I just don’t know…. So we definitely can’t rule out the possibility that someone in the future writes a Slammer-style worm that causes thousands of ATMs to start spewing out cash.” [Wired News]

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