Cyber criminals stole $13 million in a day

Tech Eye, August 29, 2011, By Edward Berridge

A large cyber criminal network managed to steal $13 million in one day from ATMs in six countries. The robbers used a security breach in Fidelity National Information Services which processes prepaid debit cards. FIS admitted that there had been a breach in May 5, but security researcher Brian Krebs said that he found evidence that the crime might have been a lot more complex and costly. According to his KrebsonSecurity blog the attackers first broke into FIS’ network and gained unauthorized access to the company’s database. In the database they found each debit card customer’s balances. FIS has some fairly good fraud protection policies that limit the amount cardholders can withdraw from an ATM with a 24-hour period. Once the balance on the cards is reached, the cards cannot be used until their owners put more money back onto the cards. To get around this problem the criminals used 22 legitimate cards. They went into the database and eliminated each card’s withdrawal limit, and cloned them. Copies of the cards were sent to conspirators in Greece, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the Blighty.

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