Attackers add in failsafes to prevent innocents from triggering attack and money mules from going rogue.
Attackers are infecting ATMs in Asia, Europe, and Latin America with malware, and walking off with stacks of cash, Kaspersky has found. Using the malware, called Tyupkin, and a team of money mules, the attackers have stolen what amounts to millions of dollars in cash.
“Over the last few years, we have observed a major upswing in ATM attacks using skimming devices and malicious software," said Vicente Diaz, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, in a statement. "Now we are seeing the natural evolution of this threat with cyber-criminals moving up the chain and targeting financial institutions directly. This is done by infecting ATMs themselves or launching direct APT-style attacks against banks. The Tyupkin malware is an example of the attackers taking advantage of weaknesses in the ATM infrastructure.”
The good news is that the infection and theft require physical access to the ATM. The bad news is that it's easy to come by, since ATMs are intended to be physically accessible by the general public 24/7. That said, the attackers only went after machines that did not have security alarms installed.