ash machines in the US are being hacked to spew hundreds of dollar bills – a type of theft dubbed “jackpotting” because the ATMs look like slot machines paying out winnings.A gang of miscreants have managed to steal more than $1m from ATMs using this attack, according to a senior US Secret Service official speaking to Reuters on Monday.Typically, crooks inject malware into an ATM to make it rapidly dole out large sums of money that doesn’t belong to the thieves. Anyone aware of the work by security researcher Barnaby Jack – who almost 10 years ago revealed various ways to force cash machines to cough up cash on demand – will know of jackpotting.
Since 2013, if not earlier, Ploutus has been a favorite of Mexican banditos raiding cash machines, as previous Reg stories document. Viewed from this perspective, the main surprise today is that it’s taken so long for the scam to surface north of the border, moving from Mexico to the United States.
To get Ploutus into an ATM, the crooks have to gain physical access to the box’s internals to swap its computer hard drive for an infected one. Once the disk is in place and the ATM rebooted, the villains have full control over the device, allowing them to order it to dispense the contents of its cartridges of dollar bills.