Feds Warn of ‘Jackpotting’ ATM Hacks in the US | News & Opinion

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The US Secret Service said it ‘recently obtained credible information’ about the planned jackpotting attacks emerging in the country.


ATM

Hacks that can force an ATM to spill out its cash have hit the US.

SecurityWatchOn Friday, the US Secret Service warned financial institutions about these “jackpotting” attacks, which typically involve installing malware on the ATM. US law enforcement is reportedly closing in on the perpetrators, who’ve stolen more than a million dollars in the last month across the country, according to CBS News.

Although jackpotting schemes are nothing new, this may be the first time they’ve reached the US. The hacks previously hit Europe, Asia, and Latin America, robbing banks of millions.

Last week, ATM manufacturers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR sent out advisories to their clients about the attacks, according to security reporter Brian Krebs.

“We were informed by US authorities about potential Jackpotting attacks moving from Mexico to the United States within the next days,” the advisory from Diebold Nixdorf states.

So far, the thieves have been targeting certain Opteva ATM models from Diebold. The vendor is suggesting its clients limit physical access to the ATMs and install the latest firmware update to ward off the threat.

The criminals have been tampering with the ATMs by physically opening the top portion of the terminal, and replacing its memory with a hacked hard disk drive. Doing so requires some surgical work. The criminals will use an endoscope, or a telescopic rod with a tiny camera, giving them a peek inside the ATM to properly install the hacked hard drive.

According to Krebs, the criminals are loading the ATMs with a malware called Ploutus.D, which was first spotted back in 2013 and is capable of spewing out thousands of dollars in minutes.

The US Secret Service is also warning that criminals behind jackpotting attacks tend to go after standalone ATMs at pharmacies, big box retailers and drive-thrus.



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