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Millions stolen in global ATM hacking affecting 28 countries

By Sheetal Sukhija, Singapore News
18 Aug 2018, 23:33 GMT+10

NEW DELHI, India - Three days after the FBI warned of a potential ‘cashout’ ATM hack, that could hit bank accounts globally, suspected North Korean hackers infiltrated a bank’s systems and stole millions from ATMs.

In the incident, hackers reportedly managed to infiltrate the systems of India’s Cosmos Bank and stole a whopping $13 million from ATMs across 28 countries. 

According to reports, hackers infected cash machines in India with malware in a highly choreographed fraud scheme that is popularly known as ‘ATM Jackpotting.’

The cybercriminals then carried out roughly 12,000 transactions over a period of two days, stealing millions.

In a statement, Cosmos Bank has said that the malware created a proxy switch that authorized all the fraudulent payment approvals. 

While the hackers are yet to be identified, many experts are already blaming the hacking on North Korea’s notorious hacking gang - the Lazarus Group.

The same group was blamed for the shocking heist that hit a Bangladeshi bank in 2016, during which $81 million was stolen. 

The bank, in that case, lacked a firewall and used cheap $10 switches to connect the bank’s payment systems to the internet. 

This is not the first time that banks have suffered jackpotting. 

Experts claim that banks in Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Poland, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Spain and the U.K. have all suffered from jacketing attacks. 

The Lazarus Group has also previously been accused of orchestrating the 2014 Sony Pictures hack. 

Experts have warned that hackers tend to target banks with poor cybersecurity and infused systems to carry out successful attacks. 

However, some experts claim that jackpotting attacks seldom affect the customer directly, as neither their credential nor their funds are affected in such attacks. 

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