FBI has warned banks that a huge cyber attack is expected which will be carried out by criminals by exploiting a vulnerability in ATMs to steal millions or billions of dollars over the next few days. The attack is expected to be global in scale and can target any bank. FBI alert states, “The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cybercriminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days.”
FBI became aware of this attack when the hackers started using it to target small banks all over the world. The hackers uploaded malware to bank systems which allowed them to edit customer accounts in any way they wanted. This gave them the ability to withdraw an unlimited amount of money from the ATMs. Since these attacks occurred, FBI started issuing a warning to multiple banks all over the country. However, the public was not notified directly so far.
Security blog Krebs on recently published warning stated, “Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to the less robust implementation of cybersecurity controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities,” said the FBI alert. “The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future.”
The FBI warning came with several tips for banks to prevent them from being targeted. This includes limiting the number of administrative accounts, monitoring network traffic for vulnerable applications or encrypted traffic, and allowing only the trusted applications to be installed on the networks. Banks are expected to take the preventive measures accordingly to save being hacked and losing millions and billions to the hackers.