The FBI is allegedly warning banks that cyber-criminals are planning to carry out a concentrated global fraud scheme known as an “ATM cash-out,” using bank payment card processors to fraudulently withdraw millions of dollars in a matter of hours.
According to Krebs On Security, the Bureau put out a notice to financial institutions.
“The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an ‘unlimited operation’,” the FBI warned last week in a memo.
Using malware, the thieves effectively use payment card processors and compromised financial institutions to clean out large sums from ATMs in a short amount of time.
“Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” the memo read. “The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”
Cybercriminals often work in groups for such operations, and the withdrawals nearly always take place on weekends.
“The cyber criminals typically create fraudulent copies of legitimate cards by sending stolen card data to co-conspirators who imprint the data on reusable magnetic strip cards, such as gift cards purchased at retail stores,” the FBI warned. “At a predetermined time, the co-conspirators withdraw account funds from ATMs using these cards.”
The threats are currently being investigated.
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