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Home DFR Observations & Comment ATM Fraud and Security Digest - May 2013
ATM Fraud and Security Digest - May 2013 E-mail
Written by Douglas Russell   
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:31

Processor Compromise / Cash Out

Suspects were arrested in the US following sophisticated processor compromise of two prepaid card processors. An estimated $45m was withdrawn (cashed out) from ATMs in various countries within a period of 10 hours. In New York alone, $2.4 was cashed out.    

Cash Trapping / Card Trapping / Distraction

Police in the UK warned the public that organized criminals from Eastern Europe are perpetrating Cash Trapping as well as Card Trapping and ATM skimming. Cash trapping was mostly prevalent in Europe during the month but is likely to migrate to other countries and regions as the technical complexity of the devices is low but generally effective. Gardai (police) in the Republic of Ireland arrested a gang linked to the use of cash claw (cash trapping) devices and have attributed at least €200,000 of losses to their alleged crimes. The gang arrested by Gardai for cash trapping were also linked to distraction and card theft. The modus operandi involves the perpetrator apparently picking up a bank note and asking the victim if they dropped it. While distracted, the victim’s card is removed by a second gang member who has already shoulder surfed the PIN.

ATM Skimming / Skimming / EFTPOS Compromise

Two Estonian nationals pleaded guilty in the US following ATM skimming with estimated losses at $50,000. They were arrested at an ATM which was under police surveillance. Police in India arrested four Canadian citizens of Sri Lankan origin and seized equipment used to encode magnetic stripe cards. Card data compromised in India was used for fraud spend in Canada and Indonesia. ATM skimming in Australia prompted police to encourage the industry to accelerate the migration to EMV chip cards. Two Bulgarian nationals were arrested in Thailand and cards containing data compromised by ATM skimming recovered.

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

An ATM located near the door of a convenience store was attacked using a vehicle and chain in the US. The theft of the ATM failed as it had recently been bolted securely to the floor. In an another incident an ATM was successfully pulled out of a fuel station using a strap but the perpetrators were unable to lift the ATM into their stolen truck. Successful thefts of ATMs included one where an employee had to run to the back of a 24hr convenience store when ram raiders crashed through the glass doors and stole the ATM. In another successful incident three perpetrators were able to manually dislodge and carry an ATM out of a store. In Australia, four suspects were charged following the theft of an ATM from a store. A store in Canada with a low brick wall and glass frontage was ram raided and the ATM removed.

Theft from ATM

Three suspects in India used crowbars to break into a bank branch with the intent of attacking the ATM but failed to notice the security guard sitting beside the machine. The guard went for assistance and the suspects fled. In Indonesia, a crowbar was used successfully to break into an ATM. Three ATMs were damaged in attempted thefts in Australia. In Scotland, two perpetrators pleaded guilty after an attack using a sewage truck to ram a bank branch A sledge hammer was then used but failed to break open the ATM. Extensive damage was caused to the premises. They were apprehended after crashing their getaway vehicle following a police pursuit.

Explosive Attacks

The use of explosives, both explosive gas and solid explosives continued in many European countries. South Africa also continued to experience ATM bombings, generally with solid explosives sourced from the mining industry.


Quick Search Strings:

Theft of ATMs > Failed Theft of ATMs >

Theft From ATMs > ATM Skimming >

Card Trapping > Leaving Transaction Live >

Cash Trapping >

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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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