As a preventive measure, hundreds of ATMs in the country have been shut down to minimize the risk of infection by the Wanna Cry ransomware. The ransomware outbreak is being considered as the biggest such attack in the world that has affected entities in more than 150 countries. Since India is among the countries that have been hit hard, a decision was taken to shut down ATMs that were at risk. Many of the old ATMs run on Windows XP, which is said to be the most vulnerable to the ransomware attack. Such ATMs have been identified and shut down as a preventive measure. This will continue till the time the threat of infection is reduced or when the ATM systems are updated with the latest software and security updates.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued an advisory, which directs all banks to update their ATM systems to counter an emerging cyber-attack threat that is said to be specifically targeting payment systems across the world. However, the RBI denied that it has ordered the ATMs to shut down. Speaking about the development, an RBI spokesperson said, “RBI has not given any direction or issued any advisory to banks to shut down their ATMs. Wrong information is floating around that RBI has instructed banks to shut down ATMs.”