Standalone cash machines vulnerable to hacks

29 July 2010

dogs-cash-machineI don't know if this article is a cautionary tale or, indeed, something for you to get excited about. Basically, this is a story about getting free money from cash points. Of course, stealing money from an ATM is illegal, but it is possible.

We know this because one bloke showed off techniques for breaking into cash machines which causes them to spit cash out. Of course, this technique isn't putting a card in and punching in your number. That would be a shit hack.

"I hope to change the way people look at devices that from the outside are seemingly impenetrable," Barnaby Jack, director of research at security consulting firm IOActive Labs, told a standing-room-only crowd before launching the demonstration using equipment he purchased over the internet.

PCPro report that Jack spent over a year learning to break into stand-alone bank machines (the kind you find in pubs and shops) and, at the annual Black Hat conference, he showed how he could upload his home-brewed piece of software called Dillinger to an ATM made by Tranax Technologies.

Basically, with this kit, he infects the cash point and then instructs it to empty every note it has out into his hands.

"I'm not naive enough to think I'm the only person who can do it," he said.

Are you daft enough to try and give it a go and then try justifying it to yourself by flatly stating that these machines sting you with pointless charges anyway, so effectively, you're becoming a modern day Robin Hood? Anyway, the moral of this tale is that our cash-machines are fallible and if someone can get them to spit money out, then they can no doubt use a gadget to swipe the details from your card.

STAY VIGILANT DUMMIES.

TOPICS:   Technology   Banking   Privacy

9 comments

  • SeeYouNextTuesday
    WTF??? IS DIS REAL??
  • Jase
    I know the dogs are for comedic value, but that picture isn't of stand-alone ATM's...those are hole-in-the-wall. If you said those could easily be hacked then I'd be concerned, as I avoid stand-alone's like the plague.
  • PaulH
    By "hacking" does Barnaby Jack mean smashing it in with a sledgehammer?
  • Yawn
    Wow, are people on here STILL using that 'IS DIS REAL' shit? Clearly they lack the intellect to say anything slightly more witty than a phrase that was never funny in the first place.
  • Sam
    Jase, I'll think you'll find that 'hole-in-the-wall' is a TM courtesy of Barclays Banks (or should that be Bark-lays?) and those in the picture are in fact HSBC so while they aren't stand alone ATM's they aren't 'holes-in-the-wall' either.
  • Wood c.
    Won't somebody please think of the pigeons.
  • ALB
    @yawn It's funny because it's repetitive.
  • Jase
    Sam Fair enough, but it still stands that the picture is of "fixed-place" ATM's, whilst the story is about stand-alones.
  • Russ
    I thought he bought 3 machines and wrote a program to dump the cash from them, but he still needed to access the usb port inside the machine to launch the program!!!! So once again a crap post!!

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