In Europe, although the article doesn’t say where:
Many banks have fitted ATMs with devices that are designed to thwart criminals from attaching skimmers to the machines. But it now appears in some areas that those devices are being successfully removed and then modified for skimming, according to the latest report from the European ATM Security Team (EAST), which collects data on ATM fraud throughout Europe.
Posted on November 24, 2010 at 1:33 PM •
Hacking ATMs to spit out money, demonstrated at the Black Hat conference:
The two systems he hacked on stage were made by Triton and Tranax. The Tranax hack was conducted using an authentication bypass vulnerability that Jack found in the system’s remote monitoring feature, which can be accessed over the Internet or dial-up, depending on how the owner configured the machine.
Tranax’s remote monitoring system is turned on by default, but Jack said the company has since begun advising customers to protect themselves from the attack by disabling the remote system.
To conduct the remote hack, an attacker would need to know an ATM’s Internet IP address or phone number. Jack said he believes about 95 percent of retail ATMs are on dial-up; a hacker could war dial for ATMs connected to telephone modems, and identify them by the cash machine’s proprietary protocol.
The Triton attack was made possible by a security flaw that allowed unauthorized programs to execute on the system. The company distributed a patch last November so that only digitally signed code can run on them.
Both the Triton and Tranax ATMs run on Windows CE.
Using a remote attack tool, dubbed Dillinger, Jack was able to exploit the authentication bypass vulnerability in Tranax’s remote monitoring feature and upload software or overwrite the entire firmware on the system. With that capability, he installed a malicious program he wrote, called Scrooge.
EDITED TO ADD (7/30): Another two articles.
Posted on July 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM •
ATM skimmers — or fraud devices that criminals attach to cash machines in a bid to steal and ultimately clone customer bank card data — are marketed on a surprisingly large number of open forums and Web sites. For example, ATMbrakers operates a forum that claims to sell or even rent ATM skimmers. Tradekey.com, a place where you can find truly anything for sale, also markets these devices on the cheap.
The truth is that most of these skimmers openly advertised are little more than scams designed to separate clueless crooks from their ill-gotten gains. Start poking around on some of the more exclusive online fraud forums for sellers who have built up a reputation in this business and chances are eventually you will hit upon the real deal.
Generally, these custom-made devices are not cheap, and you won’t find images of them plastered all over the Web.
EDITED TO ADD (6/23): Another post.
Posted on June 22, 2010 at 6:49 AM •
The amazing story of Gerald Blanchard.
Thorough as ever, Blanchard had spent many previous nights infiltrating the bank to do recon or to tamper with the locks while James acted as lookout, scanning the vicinity with binoculars and providing updates via a scrambled-band walkie-talkie. He had put a transmitter behind an electrical outlet, a pinhole video camera in a thermostat, and a cheap baby monitor behind the wall. He had even mounted handles on the drywall panels so he could remove them to enter and exit the ATM room. Blanchard had also taken detailed measurements of the room and set up a dummy version in a friend’s nearby machine shop. With practice, he had gotten his ATM-cracking routine down to where he needed only 90 seconds after the alarm tripped to finish and escape with his score.
As Blanchard approached, he saw that the door to the ATM room was unlocked and wide open. Sometimes you get lucky. All he had to do was walk inside.
From here he knew the drill by heart. There were seven machines, each with four drawers. He set to work quickly, using just the right technique to spring the machines open without causing any telltale damage. Well rehearsed, Blanchard wheeled out boxes full of cash and several money counters, locked the door behind him, and headed to a van he had parked nearby.
Eight minutes after Blanchard broke into the first ATM, the Winnipeg Police Service arrived in response to the alarm. However, the officers found the doors locked and assumed the alarm had been an error. As the police pronounced the bank secure, Blanchard was zipping away with more than half a million dollars.
Posted on March 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM •
Neat pictures. I would never have noticed it, which is precisely the point.
Posted on January 21, 2010 at 7:28 AM •
South Africa takes its security seriously. Here’s an ATM that automatically squirts pepper spray into the face of “people tampering with the card slots.”
Sounds cool, but these kinds of things are all about false positives:
But the mechanism backfired in one incident last week when pepper spray was inadvertently inhaled by three technicians who required treatment from paramedics.
Patrick Wadula, spokesman for the Absa bank, which is piloting the scheme, told the Mail & Guardian Online: “During a routine maintenance check at an Absa ATM in Fish Hoek, the pepper spray device was accidentally activated.
“At the time there were no customers using the ATM. However, the spray spread into the shopping centre where the ATMs are situated.”
Posted on July 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM •
The talk has been pulled from the BlackHat conference:
Barnaby Jack, a researcher with Juniper Networks, was to present a demonstration showing how he could jackpot a popular ATM brand by exploiting a vulnerability in its software.
Jack was scheduled to present his talk at the upcoming Black Hat security conference being held in Las Vegas at the end of July.
But on Monday evening, his employer released a statement saying it was canceling the talk due to the vendor’s intervention.
“The vulnerability Barnaby was to discuss has far reaching consequences, not only to the affected ATM vendor, but to other ATM vendors and–ultimately–the public,” wrote Brendan Lewis, director of corporate social media relations for Juniper in a statement posted to the company’s official blog last week. “To publicly disclose the research findings before the affected vendor could properly mitigate the exposure would have potentially placed their customers at risk. That is something we don’t want to see happen.”
More news articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Posted on July 9, 2009 at 12:56 PM •
One of the risks of using a commercial OS for embedded systems like ATMs: it’s easier to write malware against it:
The report does not detail how the ATMs are infected, but it seems likely that the malware is encoded on a card that can be inserted in an ATM card reader to mount a buffer overflow attack. The machine is compromised by replacing the isadmin.exe file to infect the system.
The malicious isadmin.exe program then uses the Windows API to install the functional attack code by replacing a system file called lsass.exe in the C:WINDOWS directory.
Once the malicious lsass.exe program is installed, it collects users account numbers and PIN codes and waits for a human controller to insert a specially crafted control card to take over the ATM.
After the ATM is put under control of a human attacker, they can perform various functions, including harvesting the purloined data or even ejecting the cash box.
EDITED TO ADD (6/14): Seems like the story I quoted was jumping to conclusions. The actual report says “the malware is installed and activated through a dropper file (a file that an attacker can use to deploy tools onto a compromised system) by the name of isadmin.exe,” which doesn’t really sound like it’s referring to a buffer overflow attack carried out through a card emulator. Also, The Register says “[the] malicious programs can be installed only by people with physical access to the machines, making some level of insider cooperation necessary.”
Posted on June 10, 2009 at 1:51 PM •
In case you were wondering:
Mr Shepherd-Barron came up with the idea when he realised that he could remember his six-figure army number. But he decided to check that with his wife, Caroline.
“Over the kitchen table, she said she could only remember four figures, so because of her, four figures became the world standard,” he laughs.
Posted on July 4, 2007 at 8:52 AM •
I’m amazed that ATMs still don’t have basic communications security measures. One fraudster inserted a recording device into the ATM’s phone line and recorded customer card numbers and PINs.
Posted on November 20, 2006 at 6:19 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.