ATM malware

ATM physical attacksEAST has just published a European Payment Terminal Crime Report covering 2018 which reports that ATM physical attacks have risen for the fourth consecutive year.

ATM related physical attacks rose 27% when compared with 2017 (up from 3,584 to 4,549 incidents).  Within this total ATM explosive attacks (including explosive gas and solid explosive attacks) were down 3% (down from 1,081 to 1,052 incidents).  Explosive attacks remain a cause for concern as the number of countries reporting them has risen from ten in 2017 to eleven in 2018.  Such attacks result in extensive collateral damage and can pose a risk to life.

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks were €36 million, a 16% increase from the €31 million reported during 2017.  The average cash loss per explosive or gas attack is estimated at €17,103, the average cash loss for a robbery is estimated at €13,682 per incident and the average cash loss for a ram raid or burglary attack is estimated at €13,198.  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.

EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn said, “The success rate for solid explosive attacks is of particular concern – we estimate that the average cash loss per solid explosive attack is €27,065.  Such attacks continue to spread geographically with two countries reporting them for the first time in early 2019.  Our Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) is actively monitoring the situation and provides a cross-border platform for the industry and law enforcement to share related intelligence and measures that can be taken to mitigate the risks.”

Payment terminal related fraud attacks fell 36% when compared with 2017 (down from 20,971 to 13,511 incidents).  This fall was mainly driven by a 26% decrease in card skimming incidents (down from 2,556 to 1,883 incidents) and by a 66% fall in transaction reversal fraud incidents (down from 14,098 to 4,843 incidents).

Losses due to payment terminal related fraud attacks fell 30% when compared with 2017 (down from €353 million to €247 million).  Within these totals international skimming losses fell by 27% (down from €280 million to €205 million) and domestic skimming losses were down 44% (from €64 million to €36 million).

A total of 157 ATM malware and logical attacks were reported, down from 192 in 2017, an 18% decrease.  156 of the attacks were logical attacks where equipment typically referred to as a ‘black box’ is used to send dispense commands directly to the ATM cash dispenser in order to cash-out the ATM.  Related losses were down 70%, from €1.52 million to €0.45 million.

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

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