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
    Rabid Wolverine, 22 Sep 2006 @ 3:12am

    ATM Theft, You bunch of morons...

    Gee, lets see now, who is at fault, the bank or the crook?

    One my favorite little test of friendship, especially someone I've just met, is to leave a $20 bill laying out on the kitchen table or somewhere that I know my new 'friend' will notice it.

    I then leave them alone with it for about 10 to 20 minutes and come back. If the bill is still there then they have passed the test. If not I don't confront them about it, I just never have anything to do with them again. It's worth the $20 to find out up front whether or not they are a thief and/or they have that much disrespect for me.

    Now, whose fault is it, mine for leaving the $20 laying around or theirs for taking it?

    The same with the bank, whoever reprogrammed their ATM is at fault and should be prosecuted.

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