The Newest Danger in American Banks, Warn Experts
4.8.14 - It might look like an Automatic Teller Machine - but beginning on April 8, the
ATM where you withdraw or deposit your money might turn into a one-armed bandit
able to steal your cash and your identity.
Experts have called what might be about to happen an "Armageddon" and an "XP-ocalypse"
with the potential to bring disaster to savers and our economy.
"The computer brains of 95 percent of the world's ATMs have been running Microsoft's
old XP operating system," says veteran think tank futurist Lowell Ponte.
"But as of Tuesday, April 8, Microsoft will no longer be fixing any holes that hackers
discover in this software," says Ponte.
"If hackers find a way into your no-longer-protected ATM, they could do a LOT worse
than just drain one of your bank accounts," warns Ponte.
Ponte is co-author with monetary expert Craig R. Smith of a new, free 32-page White Paper titled "Don't Bank on It!" about 19 fearsome risks now facing those who innocently trust their savings to bank accounts.
Smith's and Ponte's fifth book, also titled "Don't Bank on It!" arrives in bookstores early this summer. Their prophetic fourth book is titled The Great Withdrawal.
"Hackers, by bugging your ATM's programming, might turn it into a one-armed bandit able to steal your identity, drain ALL your bank accounts including your retirement accounts, and use your credit card accounts to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff," says Ponte.
"Your ATM, at any time on or after April 8, might become a crook's key to open the door to grab all of your life savings and credit," he says.
"And if criminal hackers widely share a weak spot they've found in old XP ATMs, they could within days rob millions of Americans of many billions of dollars. This might crash our already-fragile national economy and plunge the U.S. back into a deep Recession," warns Ponte.
"Our ATMs might turn out to be the Achilles Heel that brings down our whole economy!"
Why hasn't this been fixed before Microsoft's long-announced "drop-dead date" of April 8, 2014, when its fixes for XP ATM software would end?
"The cost just to upgrade the software program in a fairly new ATM can cost $4,000 to $5,000 per machine," says Ponte. "But lots of ATMs are 10 years old or older, and these would have to be replaced at a cost of $50,000 to $60,000 per machine."
"The biggest banks can afford this, and many are spending billions to get their ATM software or hardware upgraded," says Ponte. "But on April 8, two-thirds of America's ATMs are expected to still be running on XP software."
"Small ATM owners and little banks can be hit hard by these changeover costs and have in many cases done nothing - in part because the financial industry is still debating over exactly what new protective standards and devices will be used to safeguard future credit cards and ATMs," says Ponte.
"We're at the dawn of a brave new 'cashless society'," says Ponte. "Today only seven percent of purchases in America are still made with cash, and most of these are small - to buy burgers, coke or coffee."
"Soon you won't use an ATM at all. You'll just buy with a wave of your smartphone and its built-in security programming. And the government whose computers control this ghost-like digital economy of invisible, etheric money or credit will tax every transaction 20 percent," says Ponte.
"Or you'll buy by moving your arm over a scanner that reads the radio-frequency ID under your skin...perhaps what the Book of Revelation meant by the 'Mark of the Beast' people would someday need to do buying or selling," says Ponte.
To schedule a media interview with Smith or Ponte to discuss what happened on April 8, 2014; the many surprising dangers of modern banking; the coming cashless society; and how to protect yourself while staying prosperous and free, contact: Bronwin Barilla at 800-950-2628 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Bass, "Six Things You Need to Know About ATMs and the Windows XP-ocalypse," Bloomberg, April 3, 2014. URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-03/six-things-you-need-to-know-about-atms-and-the-windows-xp-ocalypse.html
Alan Farnham, "Software 'Armageddon' Could Expose ATMs to Hackers," ABC News, March 18, 2014. URL: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/hacking-risk-95-percent-worlds-atms/story?id=22960262
David Z. Morris, "Microsoft Is About to Blow Up ATMs All Over the Country," Fortune Magazine, March 31, 2014. URL: http://time.com/43831/microsoft-is-about-to-blow-up-atms-all-over-the-country/
Kate Rogers, "End of Windows XP Support Could Put ATMs at Risk," Fox Business, March 19, 2014. URL: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/03/19/end-windows-xp-support-could-put-atms-at-risk/
Michael J. De La Merced, "The Credit Card of Tomorrow: Software, Not Plastic," New York Times, April 1, 2014. URL: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/the-credit-card-of-tomorrow-software-not-plastic/
2014: YEAR OF THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL
FOURTEEN 2014 PREDICTIONS BY THINK TANK FUTURIST
From Weather to Stocks, Politics, Chinese Astrology, Bitcoin ...and Lots More
1.7.14 - 2014 could change America forever in many ways, says veteran think tank futurist Lowell Ponte,
who for 15 years was the Roving Science, Technology & Health Editor at Reader's Digest Magazine.
Lowell's articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and many other
publications. He has been a guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, David Letterman and
other programs, as well as a host of national radio shows.
His four most recent books, co-authored with monetary expert Craig R. Smith, include The Great
Withdrawal, The Inflation Deception, The Great Debasement, and Crashing the Dollar.
Here are 14 of Lowell's 2014 predictions:
1. "The Sun flipped its magnetic polarity in December 2013, an event some scientists link with
the 22-year drought cycle in the U.S. Midwest. Do not be surprised if either worsening drought
or severe flooding devastate America's croplands in 2014 and send food prices sharply higher.
[Lowell is also author of a widely-praised book about Earth's changing climate, 'The Cooling.'
Recent record cold winters show how prophetic his analysis has been.]"
2. "The U.S. stock market will sink by 15-20% before the end of 2014, tipping the U.S. back into a Recession. This will happen despite new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's continued commitment, the 'taper' notwithstanding, to print almost $1 Trillion of stimulus money out of thin air each year, keep interest rates near zero, and use other monetary methods to prop up a fragile economy where real unemployment today is above 11%. After years of addiction and dependence on the drug of nearly-free stimulus money, the U.S. economy is about to suffer withdrawal symptoms....hence our book The Great Withdrawal."
3. An unstable Asia will tremble as the weekend after January 31 begins the "Year of the Horse" in China's 12 year cycle of animal years. Horse years, according to Chinese astrology, are often associated with bad events: economic collapse and war. We may not believe in such portents, but the Chinese do and may make economic and military decisions accordingly.
4. "Facing November 2014 elections, Republican leaders will try to win on Obamacare's problems alone. They will go along with Democrats to depoliticize other matters, such as extending unemployment benefits and easing restrictions on immigration."
5. "If GOP leaders alienate Tea Party conservatives, Republicans will fall at least 1-2 seats short of winning control of the Senate. The Year of the Horse might bring unexpected victory to the political party of the Jackass."
6. "President Obama would then use the government bureaucracy, regulatory fines, and Executive Orders to rule without Congress until he leaves office in 2017. The power to regulate, like the power to tax, is the power to destroy."
7. "Organized labor will continue to press for raising the minimum wage. The mainstream media will not report that most union contracts guarantee hourly increases for their workers whenever the prevailing or minimum wage goes up."
8. "Obamacare could cause up to 93 million Americans to lose their work-related health insurance before the end of 2014, which will devastate the consumer spending on which our economy depends."
9. "Israel this year will strike Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Israel might use its own atomic arsenal to do this, because President Obama has refused to provide our most sophisticated bunker buster bombs to Israel."
10. "A nuclear-armed Iran would consider using terrorists as its delivery system, instead of aircraft or missiles.
11. "This threat will prompt Saudi Arabia to build a nuclear arsenal that, if its monarchy is overthrown, could also end up in the hands of Islamist terrorists and be smuggled across America's porous southern border."
12. "Nukes in the hands of Islamist terrorists could destroy whole cities, potentially kill millions, and also devastate America's economy."
13. "Property values could fall sharply in New York City and Washington, D.C., two prime targets in the bullseye of atom-armed terrorists, as people flee for peace of mind and safety to small cities, towns, suburbs and exurbs."
14. "The faddish so-called 'cyber currency' Bitcoin, driven by speculators to almost the value of an ounce of gold for a few hours in late 2013, will in 2014 collapse to a value of as little as $10. Gold could rise to more than $1,500 an ounce as the Dollar and economy decline."
To schedule an interview with Lowell Ponte, contact Sandy Fraizer at: 516.735.5468
For a media copy of Lowell's latest book, THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL: How the Progressives' 100-Year Debasement of America and the Dollar Ends, contact Idea Factory Press 602.918.3296.
WATCH 3:00 VIDEO: U.S. Debt Crisis Explained on a Household Level
DEBT LIMIT - AMERICAN FEDERAL DEBT MADE EASY - debtlimitusa.org
Graphics: Demonocracy.info / Oto Godfrey
THE RULE OF LAW AND ITS ENEMIES - By Prof. Niall Ferguson, London School of Economics
WHITE PAPER: HOW TO SAVE YOUR LIFE SAVINGS - By Craig Smith & Lowell Ponte, Authors