ATM makers warn of 'jackpotting' hacks on US machines

ATM machines

This is actually a real-life hack known as "jackpotting" and is prevalent in regions like Europe and Asia, and now it seems that it has started to creep into the United States as well.

The Secret Service notice, according to Krebs, said hackers have targeted stand-alone ATMS "routinely located in pharmacies, big box retailers, and drive-thru ATMs". The only way to stop the machine spitting out cash is to press the cancel button on the keypad. We actually saw so-called "jackpotting" demonstrated last summer at the Black Hat security conference and it's reportedly been a real threat for banks in Europe and Asia for a couple years now.

An anonymous source told Krebs on Security that the Secret Service has warned of a series of such attacks over the past week and a half, and has noted evidence of plans for future attacks across the US.

Two of world's biggest ATM makers, Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp, have notified and alert that cyber criminals are targeting US cash vending machines by hacking it.

Diebold Nixdorf's alert said that the hackers were targeting a model in its line of ATMs, known as the Opteva, which the company stopped making several years ago but is still used by some banks.

A Secret Service alert obtained by Krebs on Security described the modus operandi of "jackpotting" fraudsters.

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Once taken over, the machines can be forced to dispense money at a rate of 40 notes every 23 seconds until it is empty, according to the Secret Service.

Sources say the frequency of these attacks in the US have increased in recent weeks. It said its equipment had not been targeted in the recent attacks, but that it was still a concern for the entire ATM industry.

But Diebold confirmed it learned about the threat from United States authorities and sent an alert to its customers on Friday "of specific measures to take to protect their ATMs".

"This represents the first confirmed cases of losses due to logical attacks in the US".

NCR said the news should be "a call to action to take appropriate steps to protect their ATMs against these forms of attack". Once they are able to get control of the ATM, money is withdrawn at will. Matthew O'Neill, a Secret Service investigator says, the suspects have been injecting malware into the ATM's.

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