FBI Warns Financial Institutions of Worldwide ATM Heist

ATM Heist

The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) has issued a warning on an upcoming worldwide ATM heist. According to a report done by cybersecurity website KrebsonSecurity, the FBI forwarned banks last Friday in a confidential alert regarding the cash out scheme. The heist will be a coordinated operation where hackers will compromise a bank’s security systems and withdraw unlimited funds from ATMs. As of now, it is unknown when the attack will take place or which financial institutions it will affect.

 “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’,”
-FBI confidential alert to financial institutions. Source: KrebsonSecurity

These types of attacks are referred to as “unlimited operation”, where bad actors inject malware into a financial institution or a payment card processor and overwrite security protocols such as fraud controls, maximum withdrawal limits, account balances, and the number of transactions per customer. This will allow the withdrawal of hundreds of thousands worth in funds over a small span of time. To withdraw the funds, hackers would create clones of legitimate bank cards by copying their stolen data onto magnetic stripe cards. The FBI expects these types of attacks to increase in the future and advises banks to strengthen their security.

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