Cash machines open to attack, say security experts

Cash machines open to attack, say security experts

Security researchers from software security group Kaspersky have said that it is now possible to illegally access and steal from virtually all cash machines.

What this means is that poor hardware and dated versions of software are there for the taking for cyber criminals.

Kaspersky security expert Olga Kochetova said:

“The problem is that XFS specification requires no authorisation for the commands it processes, meaning that any app installed or launched on the ATM can issue commands to any other ATM hardware unit, including the card reader and cash dispenser.”

It has been more than two years since Windows XP was last patched, and this one of the main vulnerabilities currently making life easier for cyber criminals.

A further issue is that it is too easy for hackers to physically access an ATM. They can use what is a known as a “black box”, which is essentially a small computer that aids hackers in connecting the cash machine to a processing centre that they control, bypassing security measures implemented by the bank. The boxes are easy to install if the hackers can find the USB port or PC inside the cash machine.

Cash machines are an obvious target, but they are not the only easy component at risk of hacking. Businesses need to ensure that their systems are as cyber-proof as possible in light of recent attacks. Creating information security jobs is the first thing they should be looking to do if they wish to ensure that their systems remain out of the hands of those who intend to cause them damage.

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