What Is ATM Jackpotting? And How to Protect Yourself

ATM Jackpotting

ATM jackpotting, also known as “logical attacks,” is a cybercrime method where criminals physically install malware onto ATMs, granting them control over how much money the machine dispenses at any given time. Here’s what you need to know:

How Does ATM Jackpotting Work?

  1. Installation: Cyber thieves use endoscopes (narrow, tube-like medical devices with cameras) to inspect the inside of ATMs. Once they find a spot to attach a computer cable, they sync their laptops to the machine’s computer. This allows them to install malicious software directly onto the ATM.
  2. Control Over Dispensing: With the malware in place, attackers can manipulate the ATM to dispense cash on demand. They can empty the machine or withdraw specific amounts.

Should Consumers Be Worried?

The short answer is no. ATM jackpotting doesn’t jeopardize consumer information or funds directly. However, there are some considerations:

  • Empty ATMs: The biggest issue for consumers is encountering an ATM without funds after someone has withdrawn everything.
  • Future Compromises: Hackers could install dormant ATM malware for later use. While no individual accounts have been compromised so far, the possibility remains.

Preventing ATM Jackpotting: Tips for Consumers

  1. Choose Secure ATMs:
    • Opt for ATMs located in well-lit, high-traffic areas.
    • Use ATMs inside bank branches whenever possible.
  2. Inspect the ATM:
    • Look for any unusual attachments or devices.
    • If something seems off, don’t use that ATM.
  3. Monitor your accounts:
    • Regularly check your bank statements for any unauthorized transactions.
    • Report any suspicious activity promptly.
  4. Stay informed:
    • Keep an eye on local news for updates on ATM security.
    • Be aware of any reported jackpotting incidents in your area.

Remember, while ATM jackpotting is a concern, it’s not a widespread threat to individual consumers. Stay vigilant, and follow these precautions to protect yourself!

Sources:

Money: What Is ATM Jackpotting? And How to Protect Yourself

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