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'Jackpotting' Thieves Hit US ATMs for First Time

'Jackpotting' Thieves Hit US ATMs for First Time

According to Krebs on Security, thieves have been targeting stand-alone ATMs, like the ones found in pharmacies, big-box retailers, and drive-thru ATMs.

CBS News has learned authorities are closing in on a group of thieves ripping off ATM machines.

The attacks were reported on Saturday by the security news website Krebs on Security, which said they had started in Mexico past year. They said that while attacks have always been a threat to banks in Europe and Asia, they have eluded US ATM operators prior to this point. The attackers then attach a cord that allows them to use their computer to control the machine.

Per the Secret Service alert, an on-the-street crew decked out to look like ATM technicians uses an endoscope like you'd see at the doctor's office to access an ATM's innards and connect the ATM's computer with their own laptop.

In other attacks, according to the Secret Service report, bills would fly out of the machines "at a rate of 40 bills every 23 seconds". "This represents the first confirmed cases of losses due to logical attacks in the US". "This should be treated by all ATM deployers as a call to action", NCR warns. Krebs also published an alert issued by Diebold Nexdorf that outlines steps customers can take to safeguard the machines.

In the past 10 days, criminals have compromised these machines by dressing as technicians in a set of coordinated attacks. An alert was sent out Friday to inform the banking community of the potential attack and how they might protect themselves from being victimized. The firm's advisory (.PDF) says that the jackpotting method can be stopped if the latest firmware updates are applied.

In May a year ago, European law enforcement agency Europol arrested 27 suspected members of a criminal gang which specialized in jackpotting schemes across the region.

They open it using a generic key that the Secret Service says is readily available for purchase on the internet.

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