Windows of Opportunity for ATM Fraud Increase as Wells Fargo Boots Up More than 6000 Windows ATMs

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Well, Wells Fargo has done it. Back in November we told you about the increase in ATM machines running on Windows (yes, we realize that “ATM machines” is redundant, but many people know them by that name). Now Wells Fargo has announced that it has just completed switching 6,200 ATMs over to a web-based Windows system. Think about that. More than 6,000 Wells Fargo automatic teller machines in 23 states, running on Windows. The security of your money, your personal banking information, if you ever bank with or through a Wells Fargo ATM, entrusted to a Windows system.

This move is going to cause ATM fraud to increase, according to Avivah Litan, an analyst for Gartner, citing the “combination of stealing ATM numbers online and creating counterfeit ATM cards to use off-line”, and adding that the move to Windows-based ATM systems is “not great news for the security of the system. I’m sure there’s a lot of holes that will be created because of this.”


Litan is, apparently, a master of understatement.

According to Bill Sentenac, a senior vice president of technology with the Wells Fargo Services Division, even he is concerned with how secure (or not) their new Windows technology ATM system is, “but no more so than they were with the previous, OS/2 based system.” According to Sentenac, Wells Fargo took “the rational steps you’d take to harden any operating system” with their new Windows ATM system. However, according to Sentenac, “the reality is you can’t buy a new ATM that runs OS/2. This is where the industry is.”

Speaking of where the industry is, you can see pictures of ATMs displaying the dreaded “blue screen of death” [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Windows of Opportunity for ATM Fraud Increase as Wells Fargo Boots Up More than 6000 Windows ATMs

  1. “I?m sure there?s a lot of holes that will be created because of this.?

    Brillant statement based on nothing. Typical Gartner MS bashing.

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