Banks Alerted by Interpol to New ATM Virus
Thursday, 2 July 2015
Banks in several countries have come under fire from a new type of financial cyberattack, in which a virus is placed on bank computer systems, allowing cash withdrawals from ATM machines to users without an account, according to officials for Interpol.
The International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol, warned that although there were no reported cases yet, it expects the virus to spread to ATMs in Japan, warning banks in the country to begin taking all necessary precautions to circumvent what they consider to be an imminent attack.
According to Kaspersky Lab, Moscow-based information security specialist, so far the virus had been found in around 100 financial institutions, in some 30 countries, including those in the China, Germany and the United States, being linked with bank losses of approximately US$832 million globally.
Previous viruses have targeted the computers of bank customers, gaining access to their account details that way, rather than attempting to find exploits in bank systems directly. This change in tactic, which makes it possible for criminals to withdraw money from infected ATMs without any account details is a significant change in tactics, something the banking sector may not be quite ready for.
Interpol has been working closely with domestic authorities of those countries so far affected to tackle the virus. As part of this, the organisation has established a dedicated centre to better deal with new developments in the world of cybercrime, named the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation, which is based in Singapore.