Central bank's instructions come as majority of ATMs run on old version of Windows operating system.
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India has asked all banks to put in place a software update at ATMs to prevent their systems from a malware that has attacked payment systems across the world.
The RBI's instructions follow malware incidents across the world that have attacked computer systems and blocked crucial data, according to a report in The Times of India.
"RBI has asked banks to update specific Windows patches on ATMs urgently and not to operate ATM machines unless updates are in place," TOI quoted an official with a public sector bank as saying.
The report adds that automated teller machines are highly vulnerable to such malware attacks as they presently run on old version of Windows operating system thus making a software update a necessary exercise.
There are a total of 2.25 lakh ATMs in country of which 60 per cent run on the outdated Windows XP, the report said. Microsoft, maker of Windows software, has said that it has released a special update of the software.
However, ATM operators have denied that there was any threat to customer information and that could lead to theft of money from ATMs. They say that the principal motive of these ransomware was only to lock important information in networks and stop customer access to them.