Cyber Criminals steal cash from ATMs across Europe

Russian Cyber Security firm Group-IB is alerting all the ATM users across Europe on a hacking activity which is taking place in more than dozen countries of European union. As per the alert, cyber criminals are using malicious software to spit out cash out of ATMs across Europe. But it is going off-record as the ATM Security Association has failed to take necessary steps in time to prevent such currency heist.

The world’s two largest ATM makers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp agree that their ATMs are vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks. They made a disclosure saying that they are currently working with customers to mitigate the threats across Europe.

The saga of hackers remotely hacking ATM machines started early this year when reports poured in that ATM users in countries like Taiwan, India, Thailand have already been the victims of such hacks.

Now, the cybercriminals have targeted all ATMs across Europe which are run and operated by Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp. The remote access to this hackers is available in such a way that they can drain large amounts of cash before the bank’s database records this malicious activity and shuts down.

The Russian Group IB which raised this alert has refused to name banks which are/were victims in this cyber heist. But said that the financial institutions have agreed to invest in tools and services which will prevent such hacks in future.

Group IB’s findings say that a new model of organized crime has started early this year where around $2.5 million was stolen from Taiwan’s First Bank and $350,000 from Thailand’s state-run government savings bank.

After this cyber attack issue in Asia, US Federal Bureau issued a special alert to American banks, warning them that they need to be well prepared for such attacks in a pro-active way.

GCHQ also alerted all the banks operating in Europe on this issue and asked the firms operating in the European Union to be prepared to counter such attacks. However, the cyber criminals somehow made their way to loot the ATMs of various financial organizations maligning their business presence.

Russian Security Firm Group-IB has named a cyber group named “Cobalt” for conducting such secretive cyber attacks on ATMs across Europe. The security firm believes that Cobalt is linked to another cyber gang called Buhtrap, which stole 1.8 billion rubles from Russian Banks at the end of last year.

More details are awaited!

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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