A bank in Thailand has lost ฿12m (£265,000) in a cash machine fraud that police claim is a carbon copy of the $2.2m ATM fraud carried out in Taiwan last month.
The attack on the Government Savings Bank of Thailand occurred at the end of July, according to local reports, and involved at least 21 ATMs which were infected with malware that disconnected them from the bank's network.
Alarms that ought to have triggered an emergency response from the bank's IT security team were ignored following a series of false alarms set off in advance of the attack, believed to have been triggered by the attackers to lull the bank's staff into a false sense of security.
The attackers were then able to insert their own cards into the machines and drain them of cash. Reports aren't clear about how they were able to compromise the machines or the bank's network.
No customer accounts were compromised. The bank shut down some 3,000 cash machines out of 7,000 in its network when the attacks came to light.
"The evidence we have found makes us confident that this group is linked to the gang who committed a similar robbery in Taiwan," police general Panya Mamen told Thai newspapers. He added that the suspects were believed to be east European.
The Government Savings Bank of Thailand cash machines are supplied by NCR. The National Bank of Thailand warned that around 10,000 cash machines in Thailand remain vulnerable to malware attacks, implying that banks have been slow to update machines to patch for known vulnerabilities.
Wincor Nixdorf cash machines were exclusively targeted in the attack on Taiwanese ATMs at the beginning of July, although the company was keen to say that it is not only Wincor Nixdorf machines that have been targeted in such attacks.
"Our industry has knowledge of attacks that have been carried out in a similar manner on ATMs of various origins, of which banks and manufacturers are aware," Wincor Nixdorf spokesman Ulrich Nolte told V3.
The attackers got away with $2.2m in local currency in one weekend in the Taiwan heist last month. They are believed to have flown in on the Friday, and spent the next two days attacking 34 ATMs in 20 branches in Taipei, New Taipei and Taichung before flying out.
Subsequent reports indicated that three men, a Latvian, a Romanian and a Moldovan, were arrested in connection with the attacks, while the ringleaders who escaped are believed to be Russian.
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