Malware Infected ATMs Giving Out Free Money: Kaspersky

Malware Infected ATMs Giving Out Free Money: Kaspersky

A bank alerted Kaspersky to some suspicious withdrawals, and an investigation revealed that 50 ATMs in Eastern Europe were infected with the malware, which has been named Tyupkin.

The malware has since been detected around the globe, in countries including the USA, India, France, Israel, Malaysia and China.

So far it has been used to steal millions of dollars, according to Kaspersky and Interpol.

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Modus operandi

The Windows-based ATMs were attacked after gangs took advantage of weak security to insert a CD, from which the malware was uploaded. Mules were then sent to the machines at specific times on either Sunday or Monday nights, armed with a randomly generated code which would allow them to withdraw up to 40 notes at a time.

The codes were generated only once, rendering them useless to those not involved in the gang.

In a nod to the sophistication of the operation, the gang has been steadily improving Tyupkin since it first came to Kaspersky’s attention in January. An upgrade enabled the gang to disable McAfee Solidcore security software installed on the ATMs to further reduce the chance of detection.

Kaspersky recommendations

The security company claims that malware attacks on ATMs are a response to greater awareness of traditional skimming attacks, where criminals physically replace the hardware of a machine in order to clone cards and collect pin numbers.

In a blog post, Kaspersky detailed how banks should combat the threat of a Tyupkin attack on their machines, including upgrading operating and security systems.

“The fact that many ATMs run on operating systems with known security weaknesses and the absence of security solutions is another problem that needs to be addressed urgently.”

“Our recommendations for the banks is to review the physical security of their ATMs and consider investing in quality security solutions”, it continued.

While it is perhaps not surprising to hear a cyber security company urging investment in the field, banks will presumably sit up and take note of a new threat.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]</i>

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