Since their introduction, ATMs have long been a target for criminals in search of some fast cash, but hackers have found a new and invasive way to take advantage of the machines. Criminals in Europe have begun drilling holes into ATMs in order to access USB ports concealed insides.
As many savvy technology users can tell you, USB drives can be used by hackers to spread malware, and this is exactly what is happening to a number of ATMs in Europe. Once the criminals have cut a hole into the machine’s façade, they insert an infected USB drive into the system which spreads malicious code into the ATM. Hackers working in teams were able to use the USB drivers to gain control over the ATMs, the malware on the ATMs’ systems also informed criminals exactly how much money was available.
It has not been made clear which banks were hit by this daring scheme, but hackers were first able to bypass automated security measures in July 2013. Since the wily hackers patched the holes they made once they were done, banks were left stumped for some time as to how so much money had been stolen.