ATM Black Box Attacks spread across Europe

EAST ATM Crime Report 2016 - ATM black box attacks increaseIn a European ATM Crime Report covering 2016 EAST has reported that ATM black box attacks were up 287% when compared to 2015.

A total of 58 such attacks were reported by ten countries, up from 15 attacks during 2015.  ‘Black Box’ is the connection of an unauthorised device which sends dispense commands directly to the ATM cash dispenser in order to ‘cash-out’ the ATM.  Related losses were down 39%, from €0.74 million to €0.45 million.

EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn said, “While the rise in ATM black box attacks is a concern, we are pleased to note that many of these attacks were not successful.  In 2015, to help the industry counter such attacks, our EAST Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF) worked with Europol to produce a document entitled ‘Guidance & recommendations regarding logical attacks on ATMs’.  At our third global Financial Crime & Security (FCS) Forum, which will be held in The Hague on 8th/9th June 2017, EAST EGAF will lead a proactive breakout session during which black box attacks will be discussed.”

ATM related fraud attacks increased by 26%, up from 18,738 in 2015 to 23,588 in 2016.  This rise was mainly driven by a 147% increase in Transaction Reversal Fraud (up from 5,104 to 12,581 incidents).  The downward trend for card skimming continues with 3,315 card skimming incidents reported, down 20% from 4,131 in 2015.  This is the lowest number of skimming incidents reported since 2005.

Losses due to ATM related fraud attacks were up 2% when compared with 2015 (up from €327 million to €332 million).  The Asia-Pacific region and the USA are where the majority of such losses were reported.  Domestic skimming losses rose 24% over the same period (up from €44 million to €53 million).

ATM related physical attacks rose 12% when compared with 2015 (up from 2,657 to 2,974 incidents).  Within this total ATM explosive attacks (including explosive gas and solid explosive attacks) were up 47% from the previous year (up from 673 to 988 incidents).  Losses due to ATM related physical attacks were €49 million, unchanged from the previous year.

The average cash loss for a ram raid or burglary attack is estimated at €14,890, the average cash loss per explosive attack is €17,403 and the average cash loss for a robbery is €20,293.  These figures do not take into account collateral damage to equipment or buildings, which can be significant and often exceeds the value of the cash lost in successful attacks.

A summary of the report statistics under the main headings is in the table below:

European ATM Crime Statistics Summary

The full Crime Report is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

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