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Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Secret Service warns of ATM 'jackpotting' attacks

Secret Service warns of ATM 'jackpotting' attacks

A confidential U.S. Secret Service alert is sent to banks.

The US Secret Service is warning of an ATM attack that lets perpetrators withdraw large sums of money.

Jackpotting ATMs is a new way of committing fraud by stealing from an ATM that is reportedly starting to hit the U.S. Jackpotting requires access to the machine The thieves first must have access to the ATM machines, and those being hit are usually "stand-alone" machines found in pharmacies, drive-throughs or big-box stores.

The attacks in the U.S. were reported by security news website Krebs on Security, which said they began past year in Mexico. 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 attacks rely on an endoscope - a slender instrument used to give physicians a look inside the human body - to attach a cord inside an ATM and sync it to the attackers' laptop.

The Department of Justice didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the Secret Service's warnings.

'This should be treated by all ATM deployers as a call to action to take appropriate steps to protect their ATMs against these forms of attack, ' the company said.

Officials say they received a tip about a coordinated jackpotting attack planned for the next 10 to 15 days.

But Diebold confirmed it learned about the threat from USA authorities and sent an alert to its customers on Friday "of specific measures to take to protect their ATMs".

The schemes are known as "jackpotting".

When the researcher gave the computer a command, the world jackpot flashed across the screen of the ATM and it started to spit out bills.

Ploutus.D, first spotted in Mexico back in 2013, interacts with ATM operating systems used by manufacturer Diebold Nixdorf - but a few tweaks expand the malware's reach beyond this vendor.

The Secret Service warned that ATMs still using Windows XP were easy targets.

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