Stealing money from ATMs with malware

This talk from the 30th Chaos Communication Congress will discuss a case in which criminals compromised and robbed an ATM by infecting it with specially crafted malware. The successful compromise of an ATM can easily result in the loss of several hundred thousand dollars.

Most ATMs run regular Windows systems and can be controlled like any other computer. The first public demonstration of an ATM hack was given in 2010 – but how bad is this threat really?

It turns out there is a multi-million dollar business behind ATM hacks. This talk reveals how these criminal gangs operate by disclosing information obtained through forensic analysis of a real compromise. In the analyzed case some malware was used to control the hacked machine that was written specifically for the targeted ATM brand.

By reverse-engineering this malware, we gained unique insights into the technologies used by the intruders. The malicious features range from balance monitoring over cash-out commands to the wiping of the machine to cover up traces of the attack.

They can be accessed through special number codes that are entered directly via the machine’s number pad. Hooking techniques and overlay windows are used to display the status of the system on the ATM monitor.

We will further discuss that operations of this scale can only be performed by professional crime groups that not only have the technical capabilities to develop such special malware, but also have access to insider information about the design of ATMs and who know how the targeted banks operate.

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