Police forces across Europe have arrested 27 individuals linked with so-called ATM 'Black Box' attacks, in which criminals connect electronic devices to a cash machine and remotely force it to spew out all of its cash.
Criminals gain access to the ATM Top Box usually by drilling holes or melting in order to physically connect the Black Box, which is then used to send relay commands that cause the machine to dispense all cash.
The first Black Box attacks were spotted in 2015, but have been growing in significance over the proceeding years. A newly published report from the European ATM Security Team (East) discloses that criminals carried out ATM Black Box attacks in 10 reporting countries in 58 separate co-ordinated raids during 2016, representing a 287% over the preceding period.
Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, says: "Our joint efforts to tackle this new criminal phenomenon resulted in significant arrests across Europe. However the arrest of offenders is only one part of stopping this form of criminality. Increasingly we need to work closely with the ATM industry to design out vulnerabilities at source and prevent the crime taking place. This industry and law enforcement cooperation combined with the work with banks and prosecutors can make a major difference in stopping this growing form of crime.”