Following recent cyber attacks targeting ATMs in Taiwan and Thailand, the FBI has warned American banks that similar attacks might soon start taking place on US soil.
Gone are the days when cyber criminals were thieving from unsuspecting citizens’ credit cards. Instead, hackers are now snatching cash straight from the source, as reports suggest tech-savvy thieves have found ways to trigger multiple ATMs to spit out cash as gang members stand by in anticipation to collect the bills.
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Earlier this month the FBI said in a bulletin that it’s been “monitoring emerging reports indicating that well-resourced and organized malicious cyber actors have intentions to target the US financial sector.”
The threat allegedly could be linked back to malicious software developped by well-known Russian hacking collective called Buhtrap. The criminals reportedly tested its thieving techniques on Russian banks before moving onto financial establishments in other countries.
In additional to the US, other potential targets include numerous banks in Europe and Asia.
While security experts suggest ATMs in the US tend to be better protected and more regularly updated, there’s a significant amount of devices that remain vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The first such attack took place in July in the Taiwanese capital Taipei. Police said that multiple ATMs began acting erratically, “abnormally spitting out bills.”
The criminals purportedly hit a series of ATM machines at various locations, making off with over $2.5 million in cash. Police estimates the city of Taipei has collectively lost over $300 million from cyber thefts.
While banks regularly ramp up security measures as the technology evolves, it seems thieves are making progress even faster.