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Two Belarusian Arrested in Black Box ATM Attack


The Polish authorities have detained two individuals committing so-called ‘Black Box’ attacks, targeting ATMs, whereby criminal offenders attach electronic devices to cash machines and electronically force them into spraying all the money. The Polish authorities did this with the assistance of Europol. 

Following the ATM 'jackpotting' attack, which fraudulently led cash machines throughout Europe to deliver Euro 230,000 ($273,000), two Belorussian residents have been arrested. 

According to a press statement released on July 29 by Europol, criminals gained access to ATM cables by piercing or mounting pieces, that further connect the equipment to a laptop physically. This was then used to send relay commands to distribute all of the cash in the ATM. 

An ATM black-box attack is an ATM cash-out sort, a fraud concerning the financial system where the culprit bores troughs in the top of the cash machine, to obtain access to the internal infrastructure of the ATM. The money dispenser of the ATM is then connected to an outside electronic device, or black box, which employs native ATM commands to discharge money, circumventing the necessity for a card or transaction authorization. 

Coordinated by the EU Law Enforcement Agency and its Joint Cyber-Crime Action Task Force (J-CAT), the investigation highlighted that dozen of such "Blackbox" attacks have been committed by criminals in at least seven countries in Europe. 

The hackers attacked only a certain ATM model; Europol stated. The company refused to disclose in its assessment the specific cash machine brand susceptible to attack technology. Meanwhile, the Polish police in Warsaw, Poland on 17 July detained both suspects. The investigation also engaged German, Austrian, Swiss, Slovak, and Czech law enforcement authorities. 

While ATMs are indeed a lucrative target, they often have major physical and virtual weaknesses. ATM vulnerabilities have been a frequent issue since hacker Barnaby Jack persuaded an ATM in 2010 in Black Hat USA at a security conference in 2010 to dump all its money on stage.

Colombian Woman purloin Rs 17.71 Lakh from SBI ATM


Bengaluru Police have confronted a freshly growing crime that goes under the name ATM fraud. In this ATM fraud, the actors steal the money from the ATM by fixing a device and hacking the bank’s servers with their master dupe. In recent times, a Columbian woman has been accused of this fraud. She was held in defrauding the State Bank of India (SBI) with a calculated amount of Rs. 17.71 lakhs with her dupe. This case was registered in the Hegdenagar, Northeast Bengaluru, India. 

This incident was first perceived by a manager of SBI, Sushil Kumar Singh when he acknowledged an unusual call from a man, who had a query stating that he has received Rs. 1 lakh while he was trying to withdraw an amount of Rs. 1,500 from the local SBI ATM at Hegdenagar. This incident was reported to the Sampigehalli Police on the 11th of January. 

On the other hand, upon hearing the situation from the caller, Sushil Singh with his colleagues ran to the troubled ATM right away and started his investigation. The first thing that he did was to switch off all the ATMs at the kiosk as a precautionary measure. This was done so as the other ATMs do not get in the eye of the actor. The very next day, in the morning he found that a device was attached to the cash deposit machine (CDM) at the kiosk. Further in the investigation, a scrutiny of the cash balance receipt revealed that Rs 17,71,500 were missing from the ATM. 

Later the CCTV footage of the ATM as well as the neighboring areas was checked by the bank staff. With the help of the CCTV footage, they concluded that a woman had walked into the ATM near about 2.25 pm on the 11th of January and had fixed the device to the CDM. In this regard, Sampigehalli police evaluated the clues which helped them to track and arrest a woman, named Leidy Stefania Munoz Monsalve, aged 23 on Friday who was the culprit behind the fraud. 

The device that was fixed to the CDM works by hacking the bank’s servers connected to the ATM, which enables the actors to withdraw the money stored into the kiosk. However, the Police have recovered the stolen money from the ATM. The police mentioned that “The Hegdenagar case, along with three others from Banaswadi, Halasuru, and Nelamangala, appears to be her first foray in cybercrime”.

Currently, Monsalve is in custody for further investigation. Well, this is not the first time that Monsalve was arrested, she has been a part of thefts earlier as well. But was released on bail.

Black Box: A New ATM Attack that Diebold Nixdorf Warns Off

A unique kind of ATM attack has come to surface called "Black Box." ATM developer Nixdorf warns the financial sector to stay on alert. The attack was widespread accross Europe recently. The Black Box ATM attacks are similar to Jackpotting, in which hackers make the ATMs dispense out cash in piles. Hackers use jackpotting to attach a malware in the ATM or use a black box instead. "Some of the successful attacks show a new adapted Modus Operandi on how the attack is performed.
"Although the fraudster is still connecting an external device, at this stage of our investigations, it appears that this device also contains parts of the software stack of the attacked ATM," says Diebold.

In the case of black-box attacks, the hacker tampers with the ATM's external casing and gets access to the port. The hacker can also put a hole in the machine to find internal wires and connectors. Once the hacker has access, he connects the black-box with the ATM through a laptop, building a connection with the internal systems. After this, the hacker then has control over the command options and uses it to dispense cash out of the ATM.

These kinds of jackpotting attacks on ATMs have happened for a decade. The jackpotting attacks have been quite famous among gangs, as the method is very cost-effective and profitable. Jackpotting attacks are more straightforward compared to cloning cards, ATM skimming, and laundering money, which consumes quite a lot of time. Another reason for the popularity of black-box attacks is that the noob hackers (amateur) don't have to spend a lot of money to get a black box. One can purchase a device and launch an ATM attack without having to spare a lot of time.

"In recent incidents, attackers focus on outdoor systems and are destroying parts of the fascia to gain physical access to the head compartment. Next, the USB cable between the CMD-V4 dispenser and the special electronics, or the cable between special electronics and the ATM PC, was unplugged. This cable is connected to the black box of the attacker to send illegitimate dispense commands," says Diebold on his website.

State Bank of India Issues Warning of Juice Jacking

In recent months there has been a rise in cyber-frauds with people losing money on online payment or digital transactions. As digital transactions increase so do hackers get more and more creative in their ways of siphoning money. Cons where people accidentally reveal OTP and pins have become quite common but now a new malware has shown up. As such, the country's prominent bank State Bank Of India issued a warning against Juice Jacking also known as USB charging scam.

A new technique that infects mobile phones with malware when they are connected to public charging ports and steal their personal information. What is Juice Jacking? Juice Jacking is stealing your personal information via a USB port. Hackers have developed a simple benign-looking USB port like a gadget that is attached to charging sockets at public places. Once the user connects his phone to this charging device the USB port infects the phone with malware. Then this malware gets active and sends personal information like contact details, emails, messages, photos, private videos, and sensitive financial credentials to the hacker. The miscreant then uses this information to siphon user's money.

The media reports, "Hackers adjust ports on these charging stations with sophisticated USB-like widgets that don’t look unusual for most. Once a user connects to one of these malicious ports, the device bypasses the phone’s security to steal the contents of the phone, including bank details, emails, messages, photos, and private videos, by injecting malicious software." Weeks earlier California Los Angeles County District Attorney department also issued a similar warning of Juice Jacking to locals and travelers.

Now, SBI also warns people to not charge their phones and other devices from public charging portals at station and airports.

How to protect your phone? 
Don't ever plug your phone to USB charging ports.
Always use two pins AC electrical outlets.
Better bring your charger or power bank as prevention is better than cure.
Avoid charging your phone at a public place like a metro station.