Hackers Now Use USB Drives To Steal Money From ATM Machines
TLDR: The criminals cut the holes in order to plug in USB drives that installed their code onto the ATMs.
Another day, another new way that hackers are figuring out how to steal your sensitive financial information. That’s what it might feel like with all the recent headlines about data theft like the case of Target where millions of consumers had their credit and debit card account numbers, billing information, and pin codes stolen. Now news out of Europe isn’t going to help calm consumers’ fears as hackers have learned how to use USB thumb drives, like you use to transfer files between computers, to hack into ATM machines. Indeed, the hackers use the thumb drives to upload code into certain ATM machines that allowed them to basically have all the cash dispensed at the time of their pleasing. The BBC expands, “The thefts came to light in July after the lender involved noticed several its ATMs were being emptied despite their use of safes to protect the cash inside. After surveillance was increased, the bank discovered the criminals were vandalizing the machines to use the infected USB sticks. Once the malware had been transferred they patched the holes up. This allowed the same machines to be targeted several times without the hack being discovered. To activate the code at the time of their choosing the thieves typed in a 12-digit code that launched a special interface. Analysis of software installed onto four of the affected machines demonstrated that it displayed the amount of money available in each denomination of note and presented a series of menu options on the ATM's screen to release each kind. The researchers said this allowed the attackers to focus on the highest value banknotes in order to minimize the amount of time they were exposed…”
Source - Exabyzness & BBC