05/01/2014
USB Stick Used to Rob ATM Machines

Just when you think that all robberies happen online with the help of hackers, you might want to think again.

In the past few weeks, thousands of dollars were stolen from several ATM machines in Europe. Security researchers were, of course, on top of the issue as soon as it exploded. It turns out that the ATM machines that were targeted had holes that were purposely cut to gain access to a USB port. Through this USB port, they are able to access the hard drive of the ATM and get all the money that they want. How clever is that? In the movies, they make these stuff look like a piece of cake. For these thieves, it seems that it is a piece of cake.

Once the USB stick with the virus is plugged in the ATM machine, it will install a small program that is activated with a secret 12 – digit code. This virus, when activated, will give out all the money, up to the last bill, to the person who entered the code. It seemed that the program is not a simple one, as it also enables the thieves to see how much exact money is in the ATM machine, and in what bill denominations are they in. This is a big advantage since they can choose to only steal the biggest denominations so that they won’t be caught easily.

The strategy worked liked a charm and they were not caught for weeks. They returned to the compromised ATM machines several times with accuracy on what they were going to steal.

A close analysis of the program revealed that there was a failsafe in the virus to ensure that all the money being stolen were monitored. The virus required two access codes in order for the cash to dispense. The first code was a generic code that is common on all the compromised ATM machines. However, the second code was a unique code that’s different with each machine. By doing this, the heads of these thieves guarantees that all the stolen money is accounted for. It shows that there is distrust in the group. Well, if you ask me, it all makes sense. A thief’s worst enemy is a fellow thief. This proves that this group is highly organized and also quite knowledgeable with the machines that they hacked.

If ATM machines could easily be robbed like this, then your money at the bank could also be at risk. With almost everything being dealt online, credit card and other online payment systems like Paypal is getting famous. But, are you sure that it’s secure?

Hackers and thieves cleverly find new ways to steal either online or offline. Whatever the case is, you need to be protected at all cost. Your personal information and other data is important. To browse safely online, you need a shield that will hide your IP address along with your Internet browsing habits and activities. You need a VPN Service Provider like Faceless.me. A Virtual Private Network makes sure that your connection is encrypted and protected from hackers and thieves.