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There Is No Perimeter

General Protection Fault indeed.

General Protection Fault indeed.

Ok, so ATMs are computing devices and ergo they’re vulnerable to attack. Why is this attack interesting? Why is it worth a post? Well, let’s start here:

“This is not something the average hacker on the street would have access to,” he adds. “They need physical access to the ATM — they need to have someone on the inside or involved with the manufacture of these devices to gain access and install the software. ”

Even the outsider attacks are insider attacks. You know, with the technological advancements in virtualization, I can’t help wondering if the attackers didn’t just develop against a virtual machine. Heck, I can’t imagine that Diebold doesn’t have a way to virtualize their own ATMs for development and testing. So, conclusion #1: just because you are an ‘appliance’ doesn’t mean you can’t be copied and hacked.

The Trojan collected PINs and the so-called Track 2 encrypted data stored on magnetic stripes on ATM cards, he says, which allowed the attackers to clone real ATM cards. They would then insert their own specially crafted card into the Trojan-infected ATM machine to gain access, and the machine would then spit out the stolen information via the machine’s printer.”

So they went to the trouble of hacking ATMs, but the only method they developed of delivering the data was for someone to walk up to the ATM and print out the info that’s been collected? Seems to me that if they’re skilled enough to pull off this hack, then they’re skilled enough to find a way to bulk deliver the data. Of course, sometimes low-tech is the most successful route, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this wasn’t a proof of concept or if this ATM malware doesn’t have a longer life in some unexpected way.

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