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
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2006 @ 9:02am

    the guy who programmed is a criminal. the bank is at fault for not ensuring the security of their systems.

    the "users" aren't at fault. when you see 5 bucks on the ground, do you take it to the cops, or do you pocket it? when you go to your local burger joint and order 2 cheesburgers, and get 3, do you take one back? does the burger place come after you for the extra $1.50 for the "extra" burger? what's the difference if you go to a human teller and withdraw $200, but the 20s are stuck together and you get 300? you drive home, or go shopping or on vacation or what not, not realizing the extra you have. you take it from the bank envolope, and place in your purse/wallet and go on your way. now, the teller is out thte extra money, and has no way of tracking it. you use your money, and have no record there (threw away cash reciepts) so what's going to happen now?

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