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People walk past the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) head office in Mumbai, India, November 9, 2016.Reuters file

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed Indian commercial banks to operate their ATMs only after updating the machines' software. The RBI directive comes in the wake of the 'WannaCry' cyberattack.

In India, almost 60 percent of the 2.25 lakh ATMs run on Windows XP.

"RBI has asked banks to update specific Windows patches on ATMs urgently and not to operate ATM machines unless updates are in place," the Economic Times quoted a public sector bank official as saying.

The daily cited a statement from Microsoft that said the company has developed and released a special update for Windows XP, though the version used by Indian ATM networks "is no longer serviced by the company."

On Monday, a report by news agency PTI said the government's cybersecurity arm, CERT-In, has alerted the RBI, stock exchanges BSE and NSE, and the National Payment Council of India (NPCI) to take appropriate steps against risks posed by the WannaCry virus that has hit almost 100 countries.

The virus reportedly encrypts files on the infected Windows PCs and then asks users to pay $300 in Bitcoins. The attack was first reported from France, Sweden and the UK.