Two Arrested For Reprogramming ATMs To Provide Extra Cash

from the this-is-still-doable? dept

Almost exactly two years ago, a story made the rounds of how easy it was to reprogram ATMs to believe it had a different denomination. Thus, if it actually had $20 bills, you could convince it that it really had $1 or $5 bills. Then when you took out money from the machine, you would get the $20 bills, making a tidy profit. The reason this hack was so easy was that many ATM owners simply left the default passwords on the machines — and those passwords were easily found online. Last year, we noted that, despite the publicity around this easy hack, many ATM owners still had not changed the default password. Apparently, that’s still the case, as two men have been arrested for using the hack to steal thousands of dollars. Still, it’s worth noting that the only reason they seem to have been caught was they hit the same store multiple times (and, apparently, the owner of that store still hadn’t changed the default password).

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Comments on “Two Arrested For Reprogramming ATMs To Provide Extra Cash”

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another mike says:

Re: I'm missing something...

No RC inversion, just bad math.
Of course the hack gets timestamped and debited $20 out of his account and handed over by the machine. If it’s loaded with $20 bills, it counts out one bill and passes it out the slot. Just like any other normal everyday transaction.
But in the hack, you convince the machine it’s loaded with fivers before asking to withdraw your $20. So like any normal transaction, it docks your account $20 and counts out 5, 10, 15, 20 and hands over four bills. Four $20 bills because the machine, despite what it was told, is still loaded with twenties.
Use your own ATM card and remember to reset the machine back to twenties so it’ll take longer to be caught.

JadeStar says:

The real losers are...

… the business owners, not the banks. I think that the individual small businesses that host the old ATMs (gas stations, night clubs, etc) are the ones who really lose the money here. Don’t they fill up the ATMs themselves, and then get paid by the banks for the amount of money withdrawn, keeping the ATM “transaction fee” as their profit? I don’t think these ATMs work like Coke machines, having a service person from the company who owns the machine come fill it up every week. If they do, then it’s that little third-party ATM service co that’s actually losing the cash — and rightfully so, since they would be the ones who forgot to set a real password. Otherwise, I believe that the small business is the one that takes the hit, since the banks only pay on what they actually approved for withdrawal from the accounts.

Andrew Yu-Jen Wang says:

Robert Mueller does not like George W. Bush—Bush committed too many crimes.

George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

Many people know what Bush did.

And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

Bush was absolute evil.

Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

Bush is a psychological prisoner.

Bush has a lot to worry about.

Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

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