Hackers Steal Million from ATM using Malware Attacks

ATM thieves, who previously relied on stealing payment card numbers and online banking credentials to steal millions, are now targeting the bank directly to steal cash from the machines.

Earlier this year, a gang of cyber criminals in Taiwan and Thailand infected several ATMs with malware, causing the machines to spit out millions of dollars, and the gang members then stood in front of the infected ATMs at the appointed hour and collected the money.

The FBI has now warned US banks about the possibility of similar ATM jackpotting attacks, stating that it is “monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious hackers have intentions to target the US financial sector.”

ATM jackpotting is a technique used to force automated teller machines to spit out cash.

See more:ATM Jackpotting

According to Russian cyber security firm Group-IB, cyber crooks have remotely infected ATMs with malware in more than dozen countries across Europe this year, which forces machines to spit out cash.

The world’s two largest ATM manufacturers, Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp., said they were aware of the ATM attacks allowing Hackers Steal Million and had already been working with their customers to mitigate the threat.

Hackers have been targeting ATMs for at least five years, but the latest hacking campaigns mostly involved small numbers of ATMs due to the fact that hackers required physical access to the machines to collect cash. Group-IB did not name the banks targeted in the campaign but said the victims were located in Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Malaysia.

Both Diebold Nixdorf and NCR said they had already provided banks with information on how to thwart the attack, Reuters reported.

“We have been working actively with customers, including those who have been impacted, as well as developing proactive security solutions and strategies to help prevent and minimize the impact of these attacks,” said Owen Wild, NCR’s global marketing director for enterprise fraud and security.

After two significant ATM hacks in which hackers stole $2.5 million from Taiwan’s First Bank and $350,000 from Thailand’s state-owned Government Savings Bank, the new campaign was announced a few months later.

While the FBI believes the malicious software used in the attack could be connected to the Russian ATM gang known as Buhtrap, the Wall Street Journal reported that Group-IB believes the attacks across Europe were carried out by a single criminal group, dubbed Cobalt.

However, citing the tools and techniques used by both groups, Group-IB believes that Cobalt is linked to Buhtrap, which stole 1.8 Billion rubles ($28 Million) from Russian banks between August 2015 and January 2016.

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