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FBI Warns Financial Institutions of Fraudulent ATM Scheme

Aug 20, 2018
Following an FBI warning to banks about an ATM cash-out scheme, India-based Cosmos Bank disclosed that on Aug. 11 hackers stole nearly $2 million in fraudulent bank transfers and $11.5 million in authorized ATM withdrawals. The hack occurred over two days and involved ATM withdrawals from more than two dozen machines in countries including Canada, Hong Kong, and India

Following an FBI warning to banks about an ATM cash-out scheme, India-based Cosmos Bank disclosed that on Aug. 11 hackers stole nearly $2 million in fraudulent bank transfers and $11.5 million in authorized ATM withdrawals. The hack occurred over two days and involved ATM withdrawals from more than two dozen machines in countries including Canada, Hong Kong, and India.  

According to the FBI, the scheme is "likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an 'unlimited operation.'" An unlimited operation uses malware to compromise a financial institution or payment card processor and access consumers' card information and bank networks.

The FBI said small and mid-sized financial institutions are often targeted. Cybercriminals can alter fraud controls at the financial institution and accounts to ensure they can retrieve large amounts of cash from the ATM.

Krebs On Security reported on the cash-out blitz, and in their report also included tips from the FBI to guard against the scheme.