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‘Jackpotting’ Targets U.S. ATMs to Make Them Spit Out Cash

January 28, 2018, 6:12 PM UTC

Cyber criminals are hacking ATM machines in the U.S. through “jackpotting” — an attack in which piles of cash spill out of the machines, two ATM manufacturers said.

This kind of hacking has now hit the U.S. after spreading worldwide in recent years, and the U.S. Secret Service has warned financial companies about them, according to Krebs on Security, a security news site run by journalist Brian Krebs. ATM manufacturers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp. have said these attacks have occurred in the U.S. but did not detail whom they have targeted and how much money was deposited, according to Reuters.

An alert from Diebold Nixdorf, published by Krebs on Security, warned of the attacks, how they happen, and listed recommendations and security measures for how to prevent them from occurring. An NCR alert said its equipment had not been targeted by the hacking but still provided preventative measures, according to Reuters.

The confidential Secret Service memo obtained by Krebs on Security said the ATMs targeted by the hacking include ones located in “pharmacies, big box retailers, and drive-thru ATMs.”

“During previous attacks, fraudsters dressed as ATM technicians and attached a laptop computer with a mirror image of the ATMs operating system along with a mobile device to the targeted ATM,” the memo said, according to Krebs on Security.

Jackpotting attacks hit a number of countries in Europe in recent years, and those followed similar attacks in Taiwan and Thailand.