Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hacked ATM Machines had anti-thieves malware

No need to deny it: how many times have you wished there was a special secret code you could key in a ATM machine and get money for free? For most of us, that's nothing but a dream that will never come true, but for some tech-savy thieves and hackers... that dream did in fact come true.

This crew attacked some European bank ATM machines and although it involved drilling a hole into the machine, they weren't trying to get into the machine's money vault. Instead they aimed for a seemingly innocuous USB port... and with a single USB pen with specially designed malware, they infected the machines. Of course, afterwards they fixed the hole so the machine looked like new, allowing them to keep using it for as long as possible.

From then on, they could just simply type a special 12 digit code in the ATM keypad and enter a special operation mode that allowed to see how much money the machine had and have a "free-buffet". But... if you're in charge of such an operation, would you really trust a thief with your valuable malware infested USB pen? Who's to say your crew wouldn't go on a rampage and install it on every other ATM machine without your knowledge (and your cut)?

The "master mind" did think about that. After inserting the primary secret code, you'd have to insert a second security code, that was always changing. The only way to get it was by making a call or text the "boss" in order to receive the single use code for that "withdrawal".

... Looks like there really isn't any honor among thieves... :)

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