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A well-coordinated ATM hacking spree led to the theft of $12.7 million in under two hours

By Shawn Knight
May 23, 2016
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  1. A coordinated hacking spree involving an estimated 100 participants resulted in the successful withdrawal of 1.4 billion yen ($12.7 million) from roughly 1,400 convenience store ATMs in Japan, all within less than two hours.

    Authorities believe the group utilized counterfeit credit cards loaded with stolen account data from a South African bank to withdrawal hordes of cash from ATMs in Tokyo and 16 other districts across the country on the morning of May 15.

    Sources tell Japan’s The Mainichi that in each of the nearly 14,000 transactions, the maximum amount of money per day – 100,000 yen (around $900) – was taken out. When you do the math, it’s clear to see that this was a well-coordinated attack in which the participants wasted very little time.

    It is believed that information was obtained from 1,600 credit cards although it’s unclear exactly how the thieves came into ownership of the account data. One possible answer could be skimmers, external card readers fashioned to look like a legitimate card reader on an ATM. With a large batch of skimmed account data, hackers in South Africa may have sold the data to another group via the black market.

    Given the prevalence of security cameras, especially those pointed at ATMs, it seems plausible that at least a few members of the gang may have slipped up and inadvertently revealed identifying characteristics. As of writing, no suspects have been arrested.

    Lead photo courtesy Getty Images

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    Seems as though the credit card theives are rampant right now. In my country we found 1100 fake credit cards with bank data along with several 100 blank ones and cash and you guessed it two suspects. One of the guys says he is willing to help the bank for a lesser sentence.
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,556   +2,900

    Don't keep the secrete to yourself, spread the word. We all need a little extra money.
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  4. gregzeng

    gregzeng TS Enthusiast Posts: 30

    If you have a bank account, especially a credit card, we ALL are paying indirectly for these thieves. The banks etc will not be making losses. The endusers, all of us, will face increased bank charges.
     
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,556   +2,900

    Don't you mean we have ALL already paid?

    And that's not to mention the lack of brilliance we all possess in actually pulling it off without a trace.
     
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,509   +2,056

    Damn! Why wasn't I in on this caper?
     
  7. atcapistrano

    atcapistrano TS Member Posts: 30

    I hope these ATM hoodlums get caught. if I'm not mistaken, most ATM account owners belong to the average working class whose wages are just enough for daily living and then some extras.
     
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,676   +780

    Hmmmmmm ..... we don't appear to have any "Yen" ATM's available here ....... sigh!
     
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,555   +2,361

    Chump change.
     
  10. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    I have multiple accounts with different institutions and haven't paid a single cent to any bank charges in decades.
     
    jauffins likes this.
  11. SomchaiFarang

    SomchaiFarang TS Rookie

    ATM Scammer Level : Asian
     
  12. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Booster Posts: 241   +43

    "Given the prevalence of security cameras, especially those pointed at ATMs, it seems plausible that at least a few members of the gang may have slipped up and inadvertently revealed identifying characteristics."

    humbly disagree - spoofing yourself a la equipment and makeup is easy and cheap - if you have the means to rip $900 from enough machines to reach 12.7 Million (over 14,000 times in Two hours), I'm guessing hiding your identity from Known security measures was a yawn.
     
  13. Makson

    Makson TS Rookie Posts: 19   +7

    Yes you have, all transactions with a plastic card contribute to the banks' profits, plus, any money you have in savings with the bank they make more money in interest than they pay.
     

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