ATM Physical Attacks in Europe on the increase

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)

Europol publishes French language version of new ATM Logical Attack Guidelines

ATM LogicalEuropol has just published a French language version of the new guidelines to help industry and law enforcement counter the ATM Logical Attack threat.  The English version of the document was officially launched in January 2019 at the 17th Meeting of the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EAST EGAF)

The production of this document was coordinated by EAST EGAF.  It has three sections:

  1. Description of Modi Operandi (Description des Modes Opératoires)
  2. Mitigating the risk of ATM Logical and Malware Attacks, Setting up Lines of Defence (Réduction du risque d’Attaques Logiques et de Programmes Malveillants visant les DAB, Mise en place de Lignes de Défense)
  3. Identifying and responding  to Logical and Malware Attacks (Identification et réponse aux Attaques Logiques et de Logiciels Malveillants)

This new version provides clearer definitions and greater clarity of the criminal methods and techniques encountered in these attacks, and more detailed recommendations on how to mount a robust and effective response to them.

Circulation of the document is restricted to Law Enforcement and to the banking and payments industry, which includes EAST Members (National and Associate).

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 1-2019

European Fraud Update 1-2019EAST has published its first European Fraud Update for 2019.  This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 17 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 4 non-SEPA countries, at the 47th EAST meeting held in Lisbon on 6th February 2019.

Payment fraud issues were reported by 20 countries.  Three countries reported phishing attacks. One of them reported that the fraudsters are managing to obtain online banking credentials and one time passwords (OTPs) for cash withdrawals at ATMs, as well as managing to make minor purchases through digital payment apps.  Another country reported criminals taking remote control of people’s computers and then gaining access to their bank account(s).  This has led to a consumer awareness campaign highlighting that, in addition to never asking for a customer’s PIN, banks will also never ask for remote PC access to be allowed.  One country reported that, since mobile operators started to implement new services, there has been a growing trend of SIM card duplication.  The SIM cards of phones used for financial transaction authorisation are duplicated, ensuring that the original phone does not work.  This means that the OTPs are sent to the duplicate phone, not the genuine one.

ATM malware and logical attacks were reported by 8 countries.  Three of the countries reported ATM related malware and one of them advised that a new malware variant ‘HelloWorld’ was found.  Eight countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To date in 2019 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published two related Fraud Alerts.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by fourteen countries.  One country reported the first use of a mini M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Device.  Two countries reported skimming related arrests.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by 5 countries, three of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations and two reported attacks using POS terminals.  To date in 2019 EAST EGAF has published three related Fraud Alerts.

Six countries reported cash trapping attacks, one of them reporting that criminals continue to switch their focus from transaction reversal fraud (TRF) attacks to cash trapping.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by 8 countries and 9 countries reported explosive gas attacks.  Nine countries also reported solid explosive attacks, and this type of attack continues to spread with 4 countries reporting such attacks for the first time.  The spread of such attacks is of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.  To date in 2019 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published five related Physical Attack Alerts.  EAST EGAP has also just published new Terminal Physical Attack Definitions and Terminology to help industry and law enforcement when reporting attacks against ATMs and other terminals.  These can be downloaded from the EAST website.

The full Fraud Update is available to EAST Members (National and Associate).

Terminal Physical Attack Definitions launched by 11th EAST EGAP Meeting at Europol

Physical AttackEAST has published new Terminal Physical Attack Definitions and Terminology to help industry and law enforcement when reporting attacks against ATMs and other terminals.  The document was officially launched at the 11th Meeting of the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EAST EGAP), which took place on Wednesday 6th March 2019 at Europol in The Hague.  Production of the document was coordinated by EAST EGAP.  The terminal types covered are broadly classified as:

  • ATM – Automated Teller Machine
  • ATS – Automated Teller Safe (also known as a Teller Cash Dispenser or TCD)

The aim is for these physical attack definitions and terminology to be adopted globally by the Industry and Law enforcement when describing or reporting physical attacks on terminals.  A copy of the document is available here.

11TH EAST EGAP Meeting

Advisory Group on Financial ServicesThe 11th Meeting was chaired by Mr Graham Mott of the LINK Scheme and was attended by key representatives from Terminal Deployers, ATM Networks, Security Equipment Vendors and Law Enforcement.  Europol gave a central assessment of the ATM physical attack situation in Europe and National Threat Assessments were shared by representatives from eighteen countries.

EAST EGAP is a European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM and ATS related physical attack trends, attack methodologies and counter-measures, threat protection, and for the provision of regularly updated lists of manufacturers of ATM protective devices. The latest lists can be downloaded from the ‘Stained Banknotes’ page on this website (bottom of page).  The Group, which meets twice each year, enables in-depth and technical discussion to take place. The areas covered include:

  • The latest incidents and criminal MOs
  • The collection and distribution of best practice guidelines
  • The evolution of threats and counter-measures
  • Lessons from and on law enforcement

EAST EGAP meetings are restricted to working group members and, to provide a wider platform for sharing/discussion, the Group is holding a half-day open seminar in London on 9th October 2019.  Registration for this is now open and more information can be found on the EAST Events website.

2019 EAST FCS Seminars – Save The Date!

The 2019 EAST Financial Crime & Security (FCS) Seminars will be held on Wednesday 9th October 2019, at the Park Plaza, Victoria, London, UK.  Save the date!  Register now to get the Early Bird Registration Rate and save £100 on the Standard Registration Rate! (see current 2019 prices here)

Early Registration deadline – Monday 19th August 2019

Two concurrent seminars will be held:

To view last year’s EAST FCS programme and speakers or to check the venue details please visit our events website: www.east-events.org

These events will be co-located with RBR’s ATM & Cyber Security 2019 event, although separate registration is required.

FCS Seminars

47th EAST Meeting hosted by SIBS in Lisbon

The 47th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by SIBS at the SANA Metropolitan Hotel in Lisbon on 6th February 2019. National country crime updates were provided by 21 countries, and a global update by HSBC.  Topics covered included payment fraud and the evolution of payment technology, ATM malware and logical attacks, terminal related fraud attacks and ATM related physical attacks.

Presentations were also given by the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) and the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF).  An update was given by the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP).

EAST Fraud Update 1-2019 will be produced in early March, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

EAST presents at EUCPN / Europol Conference on Prevention of ATM Physical Attacks

EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn, representing the EAST Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks (EAST EGAP), presented at a conference on the prevention of ATM physical attacks co-organised by the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) and Europol.  The event, attended by experts from law enforcement and the private sector, was held in Brussels on 22/23 January 2019.

ATM Physical AttacksThe focus of the conference was on the sharing of experiences, insights and best practices with a view to preventing these types of attack on ATMs.  Of particular concern were explosive gas and solid explosive attacks.  An overview of the current situation was built up and then in-depth workshops were held to consider ATM Physical Attack prevention before, during and after an attack.

As a result of the conference the EUCPN and Europol will prepare a paper on the most effective measures that can be used to prevent or deter ATM Physical attacks.

Europol launches new ATM Logical Attack Guidelines at 17th EAST EGAF Meeting

ATM Logical AttackEuropol has published new guidelines to help industry and law enforcement counter the ATM Logical Attack threat.  The document was officially launched at the 17th Meeting of the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EAST EGAF), which took place on Wednesday 16th January 2019 at ING Domestic Bank in Amsterdam.  Production of the document was coordinated by EAST EGAF.  It has three sections:

  1. Description of Modi Operandi
  2. Mitigating the risk of ATM Logical and Malware Attacks, Setting up Lines of Defence
  3. Identifying and responding  to Logical and Malware Attacks

The original Guidelines were published in 2015 when law enforcement and the private sector came together to support the banking and payments industry. That report, the first of its kind, provided vendor-neutral guidance on countermeasures to such attacks, as well as a collection of indicators that could be used to detect when an incident may have occurred.  This new version provides clearer definitions and greater clarity of the criminal methods and techniques encountered in these attacks, and more detailed recommendations on how to mount a robust and effective response to them.

Steven Wilson, Head of Business at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said “This updated and refocused edition of the report draws upon the expertise of an expanded panel of experts from both law enforcement and the private sector. In addition to the key role played by EAST, I would like to extend my thanks to Diebold Nixdorf, GMV, ING, INTERPOL, NCR, TMD Security and Trend Micro for their invaluable work and contributions, without which this report would not be possible.  I continue to look forward to Europol’s engagement and cooperation with all of our partners within private industry and law enforcement in such endeavours, and our continuing fight against threats affecting the payment industry.”

Circulation of the document is restricted to Law Enforcement and to the banking and payments industry, which includes EAST Members (National and Associate).

17TH EAST EGAF Meeting

The 17th Meeting was chaired by Mr Otto de Jong and was attended by Europol and INTERPOL as well as by key representatives from Terminal Deployers, Terminal Vendors, Networks, Card Schemes, Security Equipment and Software Vendors and Forensic Analysts.

EAST EGAF is a regional expert group that focuses on regional and global payment terminal crime and fraud related issues, threats and counter-measures.  The Group, which meets three times a year in advance of each of the meetings of EAST National Members, enables in-depth and technical discussion to take place on Logical and Malware attacks, Card Skimming, Card Trapping, Cash Trapping and Transaction Reversal Fraud.

In addition EAST EGAF generates EAST Fraud Alerts for all EAST Members (National and Associate). In total 204 EAST Fraud Alerts have been issued, 3 to date in 2019.

EAST EGAF meetings are restricted to working group members and, to provide a wider platform for sharing/discussion, the Group is holding a half-day open seminar in London on 9th October 2019.  Registration for this is now open and more information can be found on the EAST Events website.

EAST Upgrades Terminal Fraud Definitions

EAST has upgraded its Terminal Fraud Definitions to illustrate what the criminal target outcome is for each fraud type.  This information is now available on the EAST website.

The EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has identified six ways by which criminals achieve their targets from the different terminal fraud types as shown below:

In the upgraded Terminal Fraud Definitions each applicable criminal benefit is highlighted next to each terminal fraud type.  The defined Terminal Fraud Types are: Card Skimming; Card Shimming; Eavesdropping; Card Trapping; Cash Trapping; Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF); Malware; and Black Box.

Below is the definition for Card Skimming which highlights that skimming enables criminals to: Create counterfeit cards; make card-not-present (CNP) purchases; use fake cards in-store; and sell compromised data.

fraud definitions - card skimming

EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn said “This is a major step forward in standardising the classification of terminal fraud, which will hopefully help to continue to drive down related fraud losses. The EGAF Chair, Otto de Jong, and his team have produced something fresh and simple which we hope will be adopted globally by the Industry and Law enforcement when describing or reporting terminal fraud. In particular we would like to thank Ben Birtwistle of NatWest Bank plc, along with Claire Shufflebotham and Niek Westendorp of TMD Security, whose creative ideas and design made this latest upgrade possible.”

A summary of the upgraded fraud definitions and terminology is available on the EAST website along with a more detailed document for download.  These have been classified ‘WHITE’ under the terms of the EAST Information Security Policy and may be shared freely, subject to standard copyright rules.

200 Fraud Alerts Issued by EAST

EAST has published its 200th Fraud Alert.  These Alerts are issued by EAST National Members, often with the support of Law Enforcement and other EAST Associate Members.  To date 28 countries have issued Fraud Alerts covering ATMs, Unattended Payment Terminals (UPTs) and Point of Sale (POS) Terminals.

EAST first started issuing Fraud Alerts in September 2013.  These Alerts provide valuable and timely intelligence to law enforcement agencies and the industry, allowing the spread of emerging threats and criminal methodologies to be tracked across the world.  While most of the Alerts have been issued by countries within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), there have been some from Belarus, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

To date EAST Fraud Alerts issued have covered:  Black Box attacks (cash out / jackpotting); Card Shimming (S1 devices); Card Skimming (highlighting the spread of different devices such as M1, M2, M3, D2 and D3); Card Trapping; Cash Trapping; Deposit Fraud; Eavesdropping (highlighting the use of different MOs such as E2 and E3); EMV Shock Cards; Malware (cash out / jackpotting); Transaction Reversal Fraud; and Vandalism.  The table below shows a summary the Alerts issued:

Fraud Alerts

Definitions of the different fraud types and related terminology are available on this website.

The EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) initiated the Fraud Alerts and conducts in-depth analysis of some of the emerging threats and devices.  Each Alert covers: the type of fraud; the country where discovered; the terminal type(s) affected; an indication as to whether or not the fraud was successful; a description of the device and the criminal MO; indication as to the device location; information on PIN compromise (if card skimming or card trapping); and any available images.

EAST also issues Payment Alerts and Physical Attack Alerts.

EAST Alerts contain sensitive information and are restricted to EAST Members (National and Associate).  They are classified as AMBER using the variant of the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) adopted by EAST.