Print 21 comment(s) - last by thepj.. on Feb 12 at 1:04 AM

Carefully coordinated ATM heist steals money from Payroll Debit Cards

In less than an hour, cyberthieves managed to steal a cool $9 million from ATM machines around the world last November using cloned payroll debit cards issued by payment processor RBS Worldpay.

While known about beforehand – RBS Worldpay admitted last month that unknown intruders stole information on roughly 100 different debit cards through its computer network – the scope and scale of this attack was not completely clear until Tuesday, after an investigation from New York TV broadcaster WNYW Fox 5 News revealed that said hackers managed to lift the debit cards’ withdrawal limits.

An FBI official told WNYW that a number of unidentified “cashers” – low-level pawns in the overall scheme – hit 130 different ATMs around the world within a 30-minute period, withdrawing roughly $9 million.

The rapid-fire transactions came from 49 different cities, including New York, Montreal, Moscow, and Hong Kong.

Normally, the cyberthieves’ efforts would have been hampered by ATM withdrawal limits, but it appears that someone removed the stolen cards’ limits beforehand – allowing thieves to drain the entire balance in one transaction.

Currently the FBI says it has no leads on suspects’ identities, with the exception of security camera footage (PDF).

“We've seen similar attempts to defraud a bank through ATM machines but not anywhere near the scale we have here,” said FBI Agent Ross Rice. “We've never seen one this well coordinated.”

A class-action lawsuit was filed against RBS Worldpay, reports Wired’s Threat Level, by an undisclosed party.

Earlier this year fellow payment processor Heartland Payment Systems admitted that cyberthieves installed sniffers on its internal network, allowing hackers to compromise up to 100 million credit card accounts.

Last year, similar scams befell payment card company iWire, as well as account-holders at Citibank, notes Wired. Thieves withdrew $5 million from iWire payment cards in about four days’ time, while Citibank customers lost nearly $2 million thanks to a compromised server that handled Citibank’s 7-Eleven ATM network.

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By kake on 2/4/2009 9:08:42 AM , Rating: 3
If you're going to be robbing an ATM, at least wear some sort of a face covering. Going in like that is just dumb. No wonder they're 'low level pawns'.

RE: Undisguised
By MrBlastman on 2/4/2009 9:19:40 AM , Rating: 3
Those low level pawns are going to cost them all the money too. Word to the masterminds - if you are going to pull something off on this scale, you better do it yourself and trust nobody else to keep your plan safe and intact.

If the crooks are smart, they will flee this country asap.

What a bunch of punks. :(

RE: Undisguised
By preslove on 2/4/2009 12:47:25 PM , Rating: 3
Chances are, the higher ups in this scam just grabbed these "pawns" off the street and gave them each a $50 bill to go withdraw the money from these accounts. I seriously doubt the people pictured know the names of the people who did this.

RE: Undisguised
By MrBlastman on 2/4/2009 1:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
That might be true - but - I'm not sure I'd trust any schmoe with an unlimited access card... and trust them to give me all the money they get out of the machine as well... Unless they watched from afar while they had guns pointed at them.

RE: Undisguised
By preslove on 2/4/2009 1:22:04 PM , Rating: 1
What I would do is just randomly pick some stupid looking person and give them some story about needing someone to get money out of an ATM for me, and offer them part of it. I'd then follow them and keep watch outside the store.

I'd definitely be armed, but I'd keep the weapon concealed unless the stupid mark tried to make a run for it.

One way to make sure they come back is to pick up a poor person with no ride & just drive them to the other side of town, park across the street from a gas station, and watch as the person goes into the station to use the atm. They'll be less likely to run if they have no idea where they are.

But, srsly, with a job this well coordinated, I highly doubt catching the pictured people will yield anything

RE: Undisguised
By Aloonatic on 2/4/2009 9:36:54 AM , Rating: 3
Everyone knows that all they needed to so was smear their faces with lemon juice so their images would appear blued on the CCTV cameras :D

RE: Undisguised
By Gage8 on 2/4/2009 9:52:36 AM , Rating: 2
How would that stop facial recognition?

RE: Undisguised
By Aloonatic on 2/4/2009 10:40:14 AM , Rating: 5
It wouldn't :)

EDIT *blued = blurred :)*

I was alluding to a fairly well known story that was on one of those "dumbest criminals" type programs in which a couple of armed bank robbers had been told that if they smeared lemon juice on their faces their faces would be blurred on CCTV. So they strolled into a bank, unmasked and sticky faced to carry out the robbery. They were apprehended pretty quickly, as you might imagine :)

RE: Undisguised
By TomCorelis on 2/4/2009 12:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
They should have watched The Ring.

RE: Undisguised
By FaceMaster on 2/4/2009 2:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
If you're going to be robbing an ATM, at least wear some sort of a face covering.

What's more suspicious? Somebody robbing an ATM with a mask on or with out?

Don't argue with my logic, for I am the FACEMASTER

RE: Undisguised
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 8:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
The one with the mask would be the smarter person. Since all they need to do is look at transaction logs for the largest transaction amounts, then look at the camera footage during those times. Bam! A few suspects for the FBI to investigate on.

As for the guy with the mask on....haven't a clue who he was.

RE: Undisguised
By FaceMaster on 2/5/2009 9:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
I can tell you've robbed a few ATM machines in your life.

By jlips6 on 2/4/2009 1:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
I now have an overpowering urge to pull a heist of my own. That and acquire a monkey butler with which I can fight.

RE: instinct...
By PhoenixKnight on 2/4/2009 1:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, the simple joys of a monkey knife fight.

RE: instinct...
By JKflipflop98 on 2/4/2009 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. It harkens back to a simpler time. . .

RE: instinct...
By waffle911 on 2/4/2009 11:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Just give me a few more minutes to hack into the mainframe...

9 million from 130 ATMs...
By s12033722 on 2/4/2009 3:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
That means that the thieves pulled a bit over $69,000 from each atm. I think most people would tend to notice that much money being withdrawn. That's about 3500 $20 bills.

RE: 9 million from 130 ATMs...
By Zoomer on 2/4/2009 10:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's not uncommon to get a few grand of money from ATMs outside the united states. They don't just dispense $20s, some of them automatically dispense bank demand drafts as well.

These guys will get caught
By rudy on 2/4/2009 2:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
to many loose ends to tie up.

By ggordonliddy on 2/4/2009 10:27:28 PM , Rating: 2 that he can once again afford his prepubescent boy prostitutes. The world is not safe when he is in a foul and disconcerted mood!

By thepj on 2/12/2009 1:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
I bet you they all voted for Obama, I am actually surprised I didn't see any "Change we can believe in" T-Shirts on them.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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