Criminals blew up 492 cash machines across Europe in the first half of 2016, an 80% increase on the same period the previous year, according to figures from the European ATM Security Team (East).
Most of the attacks used gas, although 110 involved solid explosives, says East, with hits causing an average loss of EUR16,600, although this does not take into account the significant collateral damage done to equipment and buildings.
Overall, physical attacks on ATMs rose 30% during the first half, up from 1232 to 1604, but losses were up just three per cent, to EUR27 million. The average cash loss for a ram raid or burglary attack is estimated at EUR17,327 and for a robbery is EUR20,017.
Meanwhile, the number of ATM fraud attacks rose substantially during the first six months of the year, up 28% to 10,820, driven by a 281% jump in transaction reversal fraud. In contrast, card skimming incidents were down to 21%.
Fraud losses were up 12% to EUR174 million, thanks largely to international skimming losses, particularly in Indonesia and the US.