Scam of the day – April 9, 2017 – New vulnerability with ATMs exposed

A famous bank robber was quoted as saying that he robbed banks because “that is where the money is” which is also a good explanation for why ATMs have been such a favorite target of cybercriminals for years.  A wide variety of techniques from commonly used skimmers which capture data from the debit cards as they are inserted in the ATM to actually hacking into the bank’s computer software that control networks of ATMs have been effectively used to steal vast amounts of money from ATMs.

At the recent Kaspersky Analyst Summit, a Kaspersky researcher disclosed a new way hackers have successfully attacked ATMs since the Fall of 2016 which involves drilling a hole in the ATM next to the PIN pad and inserting a wire connected to a  small computer that is snaked in through the hole to connect to a part of the ATM where the hacker could send commands from his computer to the ATM to disperse  a flood of cash.   This technique exploits technical vulnerabilities of the ATMs and is simple, effective and, according to the security company Kaspersky, requires only about fifteen dollars of equipment.


As a responsible security company, Kapersky, upon becoming aware of the precise manner in which this ATM hacking can be accomplished notified the maker of the affected ATMs, however, fixing the problem cannot be done remotely and will require replacing hardware in all of their ATMs.

As for we, the consumers, there is nothing we can do about this type of problem, but frankly, it is not our problem.  The money taken from the ATM is not from a particular account so we as individual consumers are not at risk.