Infecting automated teller machines (ATMs) with malware is nothing new. It’s concerning, yes. But new? Not really. We’ve been seeing physical attacks against ATMs since 2009. By physical, we mean opening the target machine’s casing, accessing the motherboard and connecting USB drives or CD-ROMs in order to infect the operating system. Once infected, the ATM is at the attackers’ mercy, which normally means that they are able to empty the money cassettes and walk away with fully loaded wallets. In 2016, we released a joint paper with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) that discussed the shift from physical to digital means of emptying an ATM and described the different ATM malware families that had been seen in the wild by then.
What has happened since? On top of many more malware families entering the landscape – something that was expected in these cases – there is one new development we forecast that unfortunately has come to pass: Attackers have started infecting ATMs with malware through the network. Five distinct incidents of network-based ATM malware attacks have already been reported in the media, and we believe this to be significant because it shows how cybercriminals have had ATMs firmly in their crosshairs.Read More