The Chaos Computing Congress in Hamburg is one of the most excitingly named events in the world of technology.
At this year’s hacking themed event, it was revealed that thieves had turned to some unusual and hi-tech methods of stealing money from ATMs.
An unnamed European bank had cash taken from it by cyber thieves using USB sticks. First of all, they cut holes in the machines, before attaching a device with their code on it. The code was then passed onto the ATMs.
The crimes were carried out last summer and bank officials only became aware of them once they realised some of their ATMs were being emptied of cash despite all of the protection they received.
They increased surveillance of their cash machines and soon discovered that people were vandalising them in order to attach the infected USB sticks with the code they wanted to use.
Windows XP Machines Infected
ATMs have been classed as vulnerable to hi tech attacks for some time now. Many machines across the world are said to use Windows XP software and getting access to the USB port isn’t as tough as you might think.
The researchers who worked out how the attack was carried out didn’t want to give their names. However, they revealed that once the ATM is infected the thieves can return to it, bring up a secret menu on screen and then take out cash at will. Many banks have now moved to make their ATMs better equipped to deal with this kind of attack, but many vulnerable cash machines are still said to exist.