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Mexico ATMs Infected with Malware, Might Spread to U.S.

Cybercriminals are stealing money from ATMs in Mexico by infecting machines with malware, SC Magazine reported.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Cybercriminals in Mexico infected ATMs with malware to dispense money automatically.

Cybercriminals are stealing money from ATMs in Mexico by infecting machines with malware, SC Magazine reported. This type of cyberattack is especially rare because cybercriminals need to physically access ATMs to infect machines.

Josh Grunzweig, security researcher at IT security firm Trustwave, said hackers use malware called Ploutus to manipulate infected ATMs directly, through either the ATM's keypad or its interactive interface.

To transfer malware to the ATMs, hackers first gain access to its computer system by picking the lock to the machine's CD-ROM drive and inserting a new boot CD equipped with Plotus, according to Trustwave's blog.

Grunzweig said cybercriminals can dispense money from ATM machines simply by using certain key sequences on the keypad. He said that while Ploutus has been identified only in Mexico, there is a possibility the malware could spread to infect ATMs in the U.S.

"This is certainly an attack that could impact ATMs in the U.S., or anywhere else for that matter," Grunzweig told SC Magazine. "While Ploutus itself may not work on a particular brand of ATM, it doesn't mean that someone out there is writing a variant to do just that."

Grunzweig advises ATM operators to increase the physical protections for machines. 



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