Five arrested for hacking into ATMs and stealing $3.2 million

The gang hacked into bank networks and compromised ATMs from within

Law enforcement authorities from Europe and Asia have arrested five members of an international cybercriminal group that specialized in hacking into automated teller machine (ATMs).

The investigation began in early 2016, according to Europol. Three suspects were arrested in Taiwan, one in Romania, and one in Belarus. Most of them had multiple citizenships and could travel easily between countries, the agency said Friday.

Hacking into ATMs to steal money is nothing new, and there are malware programs built specifically for such machines that allow criminals to withdraw money using hidden commands.

To infect ATMs with such malware most attackers either receive help from bank insiders or buy service keys that can be used to open the front panels of ATMs and access their communications ports.

However, the gang targeted by this law enforcement investigation had a different modus operandi. They used spear-phishing to target bank employees and penetrate the banks' internal networks. They then located and hacked into the ATM network segment from the inside.

Targeting and compromising financial institutions instead of their customers is a more recent technique. A year ago, researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab warned about three cybercriminal groups that hacked into banks' computer networks.

Some of them can wait for months or even a year inside a compromised network before they start stealing money, during which they carefully observe and gather information about the target's internal procedures, money moving processes, and key employees.

One such gang dubbed Carbanak stole between US$500 million and $1 billion from hundreds of financial institutions in at least 30 countries.

Compared to Carbanak, the losses to banks caused by the five arrested suspects are estimated at around $3.2 million. Two of them have already been convicted, Europol said. It's unclear when all of the arrests happened.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?