USB Drives Used to Empty European ATMs
December 31, 2013 11:36 AM
The amount of money in the ATM is then displayed by denomination, along with options for withdrawing the amount they want
Thieves are using USB drives to infect European ATM cash machines and draw out cash by denominations.
According to a new report from
, the criminals have been cutting holes in ATMs in order to insert their USB drive -- which holds malicious code -- and turns the ATM into a zombie.
Once the USB stick is plugged in, the malicious code is transferred to the ATM and the thieves patch up the holes. From there, all they have to do is type in a 12-digit code to activate the special interface.
The amount of money in the ATM is then displayed by denomination, along with options for withdrawing the amount they want.
But before the cash can be taken out, a second code must be entered. This was implemented as a way of ensuring that anyone within the crime circle doesn't take a USB drive and run off on their own with it.
The second code is unique each time, and to obtain it, the person
at the ATM
must call another member of the circle. Once the person at the ATM receives it from another member, they can pull the cash. If they don't receive this code within three minutes, the interface disappears and the ATM appears normal again.
The bank in which the ATMs belong is being kept secret for now, but employees started noticing the thefts in July when several ATMs were turning up empty despite proper transactions. Also, the safes used to keep the cash protected were unharmed.
The technique behind the hacks was revealed at the Chaos Computing Congress in Hamburg, Germany.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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