Hackers Bring “Jackpotting” to American ATMs

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Kreb's Security ATM jackpotting
Weston Hecker, senior security engineer at Rapid 7 smiles as he watches phony money dispense automatically from an ATM after it was hacked during a demonstration at the 2016 Black Hat cyber-security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. August 3, 2016. (David Becker/Reuters)

Cyberhacks have been increasing in frequency over the last couple years; putting many people on edge about the future of their personal data and finances. The Secret Service has issued a warning to banks stating that a new form of hacking is making its way into America. The chips on credit and debit cards have a vulnerability that allows hackers to steal all of your information or money.

Jackpotting, or stealing money from ATMs, has occurred throughout the globe in parts of Europe and Latin America. Hackers must gain access to your information using the chip inserted in many new credit cards. In order to be successful, the hacker uses malware and physical tools to take control of an ATM. The hacker then forces the ATM to dispense cash from the user’s account as quickly as possible.

The Secret Service mentioned that the theft is more likely to occur at stand-alone ATM locations. This includes places like gas stations, pharmacies, bars and retailers. Hackers must install the malware onto the cash register that is accepting cards. Once done, the malware copies all of the person’s information and transfers the data to another access point. The hackers then use the data to withdraw money from a cracked ATM.

It is believed that there have been six cyber attacks in the last week ranging from the Pacific Northwest to New England. It’s estimated that thieves have stolen over $1 million so far in ATM attacks.

An independent security journalist named Brian Krebs originally reported the American jackpotting attacks. He noticed more conversations occurring about the ATM hacking necessities on deep web “carding” forums, run by credit card thieves and hackers.

While there hasn’t been an exact number of confirmed attacks, it’s believed there will be more in the future. Keep your data and money safe by using ATMs directly in the banks that you do business with.

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