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Jackpotting: Criminals Loot ATMs in the US

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 | bitcoin updates

    (Picture: pixabay.com)
             Disguised as a technician, criminals in the US smuggle malware onto ATMs and then withdraw their money to their heart's content. The malicious code used has the potential for worldwide use.


        The US Secret Service is said to have warned several ATM manufacturers – including Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corporation – of increasing jackpotting attacks on ATMs in the US in recent weeks. Among other things, this is the result of a blog entry by security researcher Brian Krebs.
Jackpotting refers to the manipulation of ATMs using malicious software to undermine security mechanisms and ultimately plunder the entire cash holdings. The term goes back to the hacker Barnaby Jack (who died in early 2014), who introduced the technique in 2010 in a lecture titled "Jackpotting Automated Teller Machines".

According to a source cited anonymously by Krebs, in the second half of January the criminals launched a series of "coordinated attacks" on Diebold ATMs. There are indications that further attacks are planned nationwide.
Attack with the endoscope


          According to Brian Krebs' anonymous source, the Opteva 500 (pictured here) and the 700 series are the focus of the current attacks.
          (Picture: diebolddirect.com)

Diebold Nixdorf has meanwhile published a safety notice for its customers. It reveals that the current jackpotting activities are primarily aimed at relatively small, freestanding vending machine models from the manufacturer's "Opteva" series, with the money in the front ("front-loaded"). Diebold recommends that operators of such machines update the firmware, rely on encrypted communication and take precautions to make physical access more difficult.
Krebs claims to have received a confidential document from the Secret Service, according to which the current jackpotting campaign uses a new version of a malware already known since 2013 and initially sighted in Mexico. The security software manufacturer FireEye has given her the alias Ploutus.D and published a detailed analysis in early 2017.
According to Secret Service, attackers (typically disguised as technicians) use an endoscope to look into the vending machines, to wire a laptop with them, and then to play the malware. The ATMs prepared in this manner then appear to be out of order – however, the malicious code allows their remote control to be used to spit out any amount of money.
Jackpotting also a topic in Germany Compared to the US, jackpotting attacks are more common in Europe: in Germany in 2015, a crook manipulated the control electronics of ATMs with a USB stick in order to pay off larger sums of money.
So far, all Ploutus.D samples analyzed by FireEye are targeting Diebold automata. But this does not have to stay that way: minimal code changes would allow attacks on vending machine models from 40 manufacturers in a total of 80 countries. The manufacturer-independent software Kalignite attacked by Ploutus also runs on German ATMs.
Not surprisingly, the Secret Service ATMs that still run Windows XP are particularly vulnerable to the current malware campaign. He advises ATM operators to switch to Windows 7 to fend off attacks with Ploutus.




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