Reprogramming Your ATM For Fun And For Profit (Mainly For Profit)

from the not-so-hard-at-all dept

There was some buzz last week after CNN showed a video of an ATM machine that had been programmed to believe it had $5 bills instead of $20s (so any withdrawal actually gave you 4X the money you asked for). The guy who did this just walked in and knew the code to reprogram the ATM. He then left the ATM programmed that way, and the ATM gave a lot of people extra money for nine days before someone pointed out the problem. So how easy would it be for anyone else to do this? Apparently it's ridiculously easy. With a bit of hunting online, it's not too hard to obtain a copy of the manual for the type of ATM machine used, including instructions on how to switch it to diagnostic mode. You do need a password, but the manual lists the typical default passwords that it seems likely many of these ATM owners failed to switch. Hopefully, this new burst of publicity over the issue will encourage owners of the machines to change their passwords -- but if you happen to see certain ATMs with unusually long lines in the near future (and don't mind committing fraud), you might want to withdraw some money.

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  1. identicon
    Jamfish, 18 Jul 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Users aren't at fault?

    Excuse me, but in this case they are. Whether you knowingly or unknowingly remove more money than authorized, you are responsible. What's going to happen now? You can make it right and return the item/amount/equivalent in $$ (eaten/spent or not) to the bank/burger joint/etc.

    It's called honesty and restitution. I know... two concepts slowly becoming foreign here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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