Hack attack hits ATM jackpots - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

Hack attack hits ATM jackpots

Computer security researcher Barnaby Jack jokes that he has resorted to hiding cash under his bed since figuring out how to crack automated teller machines remotely using the Internet.

The New Zealand native on Saturday demonstrated his "ATM jackpotting" discovery for an overflow crowd of hackers during a presentation at the infamous DefCon gathering in Las Vegas.

"You don't have to go to the ATM at all," Jack told AFP after briefing fellow software savants. "You can do it from the comfort of your own bedroom."

Jack proved his findings using two kinds of ATMs typically found in corner stores, bars or other "stand-alone" venues in the United States but said the flaw likely exists in machines at banks.

Banks use "remote management" software to monitor and control their ATMs, and Jack used a weakness in that kind of code to take control of machines by way of the Internet.

He found a way to bypass having to submit passwords and serial numbers to access ATMs remotely. Once in the machines, he could command them to spit out cash or transfer funds.

He could also capture account data from magnetic strips on credit or bank cards as well as passwords punched in by ATM users.

"When you think about ATM security you generally think about the hardware side; is it bolted down and are the cameras in position," Jack said.

"This is the first time anyone has taken the approach of trying to attack the underlying software. It is time to find software defenses rather than hardware defenses."

Jack did his research on ATMs he bought on the Internet. He also found master keys for stand-alone machines available for purchase online, meaning hackers could walk up and tinker with ATM software, he added.

"We shouldn't dwell on the walk-up attack, because no physical access is required," Jack said. "They have a flaw that lets me bypass all authentication on the device on the Internet, and I am the ATM at that stage."

He didn't reveal specifics of the attack to hackers even though the ATM makers were told of the flaw and have bolstered machine defenses.

"I might get my butt in hot water if I released the code," said the IO Active software security researcher who did the ATM hack 'as a hobby.'

"I was careful not to release the keys to the kingdom."

Jack said he doesn't know if criminals have exploited the software flaw "in the wild" but that it is tough to be certain.

"It is not an easy attack to replicate but I am not naive enough to think I am the only one who can do it," Jack said, admitting he has grown wary of ATMs. "I just keep my cash under the bed now, mate."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Programme Test Manager

    £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

    Project Manager with some Agile experience

    £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

    Data/ MI Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

    Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week