The end of Windows XP support could hurt ATM's

LAS VEGAS -- One in every three computers users could be in major trouble Tuesday, and they won't be getting any help.

Microsoft is dropping its support of its operating system Windows XP. This means there will be no security updates to fend off hackers.

The news gets worse. According to a CNN-Money report, 95 percent of all ATM's use Windows XP, which ATM's can be a prime target for hackers.

Banking giant JP Morgan bought a one-year extension of service so Chase Banks could still run Windows XP in their ATM's and still be covered. All of the big banks should be fine.

However, stand-alone ATM's often found at a gas stations, for instance, could be at risk. Microsoft announced the change years ago and still most banks have yet to upgrade their systems.

"Should a breach occur within an XP environment, they simply won't be of any support to the institution," Linda Montgomery, with the Learning Center, said.

Unless it has a bank or credit union's name on it, security experts say be cautious.

"The safest, in my opinion, is to stay with a bank that is regulated by the FDIC," Montgomery said.

8 News NOW called nearly every small bank and credit union in Las Vegas. One Nevada Credit Union told us its 57 ATM's are being upgraded right now. They will be secured during the process because of a deal with Microsoft. The upgrade is expected to be finished by June.

Your PC, on the other hand, won't get that kind of protection. Experts advise unplugging a computer that is running Windows XP.

Sean Connery with Orbis Solutions agrees. His company is monitoring the computer systems of about a hundred small and large businesses around Las Vegas. He says if these companies need to upgrade, regular household computers should also be upgraded.

It could cost a couple hundred dollars but hackers could steal a lot more.

"They can really take over your Windows XP machine, take it and own it and do anything they want to do with it. They've got all your information. And sadly, if you look at trending on the Internet, over 29 percent of people have it as of Friday." Connery said.

If you run a small business and you use Windows XP there is help. Orbis Solutions is holding a conference on protecting your business.

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