Diebold Among Sites Still Running Windows NT4

Diebold, whose electronic voting systems will be widely used in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 2, continues to run its public web site on Windows NT4, forgoing newer Microsoft operating systems.

Windows NT4 was officially retired in 2001, and Microsoft is scheduled to discontinue security patches and all other support on Dec. 31. As a result, the number of holdouts running web sites on NT4 is dwindling. Only 1.5 percent of web-facing hostnames run on Windows NT4/98, according to this month’s Web Server Survey, down from 5.3 percent at the start of 2003. Only one member of the Fortune 100 (Kroger) and eight companies in the UK’s FTSE 100 continue to operate their web sites on Windows NT4.

Diebold’s choice of operating system for its web site has no direct impact upon the security of its voting systems. But it seems a curious decision for a security company whose systems are under considerable scrutiny due to their importance in the upcoming election.

More than 75,000 of Diebold’s touchscreen voting systems are in use in nine states, including all of Maryland and Georgia. The company’s Windows-based Global Election Management System (GEMS), which runs atop a Microsoft Access database, has come under scrutiny from critics. Diebold is also the world’s largest maker of authomated teller machines.

Diebold isn’t alone. A number of finance and e-commerce sites continue to run NT4, including the Bank of New York and payment gateway PSIGate. But many other corporations have switched to other platforms in recent months, including Gateway Computers (Windows 2000) and Hershey Foods (Windows Server 2003).

Netcraft monitors over 23K hostnames for the top 1.5K Enterprises (Fortune 1K, FT European 500, FT Asia Pacific, FT Japan, FT Eastern Europe) on a monthly basis, providing details of web technology. Contact us for details of the commercial dataset.