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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud and Security Digest - December 2009
ATM Fraud and Security Digest - December 2009 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Saturday, 09 January 2010 08:45

Ram Raid Attacks / Theft of ATM / Smash-and-Grab

In the USA, various convenience stores and fuel stations were the targets of choice for ram raid attacks in December. In one USA attack, the perpetrators were not strong enough to lift the weight of the ATM. Northern Ireland had a significant number of attacks which was a continuation of a general trend in 2009. In India, attempts to steal ATMs were reported in December. Forklift trucks, mechanical diggers and pickup trucks were the most common vehicles used in December.

Safe Cutting / Safe Breaking / Frontal Attacks / Theft from ATM

Australian police, linking eight attempts using blowtorches to cut open ATMs, reported two attempts as being successful. In Canada, an ATM was smashed open in a shopping mall. In the USA, an ATM was completely destroyed during an attack to force open the security enclosure. Grinders were used in South Africa. In India, an ATM was broken into via damage to the lock. Arrests and firearms' seizures were made in Pakistan related to thefts from ATMs.

Explosive Attacks

A suspect was arrested with two bags of cash, allegedly stolen during an explosive attack, in South Africa in December. In Australia, a failed explosive gas attack was reported. Statistics released by the Finance Ministry of Malaysia indicated there had been 11 attempts using explosives, eight of which were successful.

Card Trapping / Card Theft / Distraction / Card Swapping

Card trapping was reported in the UK during December, as was distraction card theft.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / Data Compromise

ATM skimming was reported globally during December. In Singapore, eight suspects from Romania were charged with the use of cards compromised in the UK. Suspects, also from Romania, were arrested in Australia in December. A British suspect faced charges in Australia following a large scale EFTPOS compromise. Bulgarian suspects were linked to ATM skimming incidents in New Zealand and France during December. Visual card data compromise was reported in Nigeria, where a suspect explained how he shoulder surfed both the card and PIN details.

Phishing / Vishing /Smsishing / Advanced Fee / Funds Transfer Fraud

Phishing, vishing and smsishing (smishing) was detected globally, particularly in the USA during December

Technology in Focus

December saw an almost even balance in successful and failed attempts to remove ATMs using a variety of vehicles, chains and other ‘brute force' techniques. Many of the attempts that failed were as a result of underestimating the weight of the ATM, and the fact that some machines are protected by strong anchoring. That said, the significant number of attacks that were successful demonstrates that ATM deployers are still failing to install adequate physical defences to prevent ATM thefts. The ATM Raminator, designed by Lockit Systems of Australia, has a long and proven track record in preventing ATM Ram Raid and Smash and Grab attacks. The ATM Raminator absorbs the impact energy during an attack to keep the ATM safely retained by its anchors.

The above digest is provided by DFR Risk Management, who provide consultancy services advising ATM and self-service terminal deployers and manufacturers, as well as law-enforcement agencies, on how to manage ATM and self-service terminal fraud and security threats.

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