The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has alerted banks that in the coming days cybercrooks are planning to spring a highly choreographed, multinational “ATM cashout” that could drain their cash machines of millions within the span of hours.
In an ATM cashout, cybercrooks hack a bank or payment card processor, lift fraud controls such as withdrawal limits and/or account balances and/or number of daily withdrawals, outfit so-called “casher crews” with cloned cards, and send them out to simultaneously descend on cash machines and strip them of money before the banks sound the alarm and slam down the window of opportunity.
Cybercrime journalist Brian Krebs on Sunday reported that the FBI alert to banks indicated that the plot could be triggered any day now.
From the confidential alert, which was privately sent to banks on Friday:
“The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an ‘unlimited operation’.“
Virtually all ATM cashout operations are launched on weekends, often just after financial institutions begin closing for business on Saturday.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.