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ATM’s Crashing!

March 15th, 2008


Wiki – Automated teller machine

Hello All,

This week I thought we may discuss ATM’s and how they sometimes crash! On trolling round the Net and reading my favourite magazine, I came across a picture a reader sent in about an ATM running Windows Crashing. Now the picture they sent in, showed a simple/famous ‘Blue Screen of Death’ which you can see above. However on looking around a little more I found that this was at times quite common, and when the ATM crashed a little more came up than the blue screen of death, but at times actually aloud you to use the ATM (if you wanted too) as a Desktop/Laptop!

Too start with lets look at the basics: Most ATM’s are connected to an ‘Inter-Bank Network’ which is the system which allows you too, use different banks, (other than your own), to withdraw or deposit money. As well as this another major system an ATM connects too is a ‘Transaction Processor’. This is the system which actually electronically adds or subtracts money from your account. This is usually done via a leased line or using a dial-up modem, or with more modern/current ATM’s just using High Speed Internet (BroadBand) over a secure VPN(Virtual Private Network).

Well thats the tech bit over with! Now usually when these systems are working well/normally (as they do most of the time), people know, no different too how they work, nor do they want too. However when an ATM crashes the user becomes instantly aware. Now the picture at the top shows a blue screen of death. When that happens to an ATM, the damage that can be done before it is reported/found is quite limited. However as you can see from the picture below, this can be quite different:


Guardian Tech Blog

Now as I am sure, all who are reading this have used or have seen an ATM. At the same time, I am sure you will agree, Banks do there very best too protect us and our data, and with technology, they usually succeed, through various expertise! However letting the side down, as you can see from the picture just above, shows a touch screen ATM in a cinema. When this crashed, it did not display a blue screen of death, but instead gave you a desktop to play with! As you can see the innocent passer by, was able to access paint through the task bar, too draw the picture you see above. Altough this person was innocently playing with paint, another could possibly access something other than paint, which is quite worrying. Most of the time when this happens the bank usually either reapirs it or shuts it down, which is good, however its the ATM’s out of the banks control (like the one above), which are the ones, I would personally avoid.

Anyway thought these pics were funny so here they! Also dont forget, if you see an ATM like this, or it does not look quite ‘right’, dont just ignore it, but instead report it, and help the Banks help you!

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