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jadhav.namdeo at gmail.com
Fri Jul 30 00:12:30 EDT 2010
A hacker has discovered a way to force ATMs to disgorge their cash by hijacking the computers inside them.
The attacks demonstrated on Wednesday targeted standalone ATMs. But they could potentially be used against the ATMs operated by mainstream banks.
Criminals have long known that ATMs aren't tamperproof.
There are many types of attacks in use today, ranging from sophisticated to foolhardy: installing fake card readers to steal card numbers, hiding tiny surveillance cameras to capture PIN codes, covering the dispensing slot to intercept money and even hauling the ATMs away with trucks in hopes of cracking them open later.
Computer hacker Barnaby Jack spent two years tinkering in his Silicon Valley apartment with ATMs he bought online. These were standalone machines, the type seen in front of convenience stores, rather than the ones in bank branches. His goal was to find ways to take control of ATMs by exploiting weaknesses in the computers that run the machines.
Jack hacked into ATMs by exploiting weaknesses in the way ATM makers communicate with the machines over the internet. He said the problem is that outsiders are permitted to bypass the need for a password. The remote style of attack is more dangerous because an attacker doesn't need to open up the ATMs.
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