EPTF holds Fourth Meeting

EPTFThe Fourth Meeting of the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) took place on Thursday 22nd November 2018 at the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in Dublin.

The EPTF is a specialist task force that discusses security issues affecting the payments industry and that gathers, collates and disseminates related information, trends and general statistics.  The EPTF has recently published Payment Fraud Terminology and Payment Fraud Definitions.  The aim is for the payment fraud terminology, and related payment fraud definitions, to be adopted globally when describing or reporting payment and transaction fraud.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Rui Carvalho, EAST Development Director, and was attended by key representatives from Card Issuers, Law Enforcement, Payment Processors, Payment Providers and Solution Providers.

Presentations or updates were given by BANCOMAT S.p.A, BPFI, Diebold Nixdorf,  EURO Kartensysteme GmbHEuropol, INTERPOL, PayLife, PayPal, Trend Micro, Visa Europe.

The Group, which meets twice a year, adds value to the payments industry by using the unique and extensive EAST National Member platform and Associate Member network to provide information and outputs that are not currently available elsewhere.  EAST National Members represent 35 countries and outputs from the group are presented to National Member Meetings.  There are 202 EAST Associate Member Organisations from 52 countries and territories.

EAST Presents at CyberSouth Event

CyberSouthEAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn presented at a CyberSouth Regional Workshop on Business Email Compromise (CEO Fraud) and Electronic Payment Fraud on 13 November 2018 . The event, which ran from 12-14 November 2018, was held at the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) in Bucharest, Romania and was implemented by the Council of Europe.  The CyberSouth project focuses on cooperation on cybercrime in the Southern Neighbourhood and aims at reinforcing the capacities of specialised units with responsibilities relating to tackling cybercrime and dealing with electronic evidence.

The workshop focused on increasing the knowledge of the participants on the different trends and typologies of online fraud and of electronic payment fraud in order to assist with strengthening the capacity of the criminal justice authorities in the CyberSouth countries to search for, seize, and confiscate the illicit proceeds of cyber-criminals in the target areas.  Cybercrime investigators and prosecutors from the following Southern Neighbourhood priority area countries attended the event: Algeria; Jordan; Lebanon; Morocco; Tunisia.

National representatives were also present from Germany, Israel, Romania and the USA.  Europol and Eurojust were present and the private sector was represented by American Express, BIT Defender and EAST.

The EAST presentation covered the structure and methodology used by EAST to help improve public/private sector cross-border cooperation in the fight against organised cross-border crime, and then shared information on the latest statistics and trends relating to logical (black box) attacks against ATMs, and also on malware used to enable jackpotting (cash out) at ATM locations.  The latest fraud definitions produced by EAST were also shared and it was advised that an updated version of these will soon be available.  These definitions are aimed at helping law enforcement agencies, private sector fraud investigators and other stakeholders to standardise reporting terminology when following up on incidents.

The Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe (C-PROC), based in Bucharest, is responsible for assisting countries worldwide in the strengthening of their criminal justice capacity to respond to to the challenges posed by cybercrime and electronic evidence on the basis of the standards of the Budapest Convention of Cybercrime.  This is the only binding international instrument on this issue and serves as a guideline for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and as a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to The Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe (CETS No.185).

 

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 3-2018

European FraudEAST has published its third European Fraud Update for 2018. This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 15 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 3 non-SEPA countries, at the 46th EAST meeting held in London on 9th October 2018.

Payment fraud issues were reported by fourteen countries. Seven countries reported card-not-present (CNP) as a key fraud driver. One country reported merchant manipulation of settlement files to force through authorisations on POS terminals – once the forced transaction is through on a card the merchant cashes out using it. One country reported malware related to two APT attacks – some Chinese criminals are under observation in connection with them. Another country reported impersonation fraud relating to bill payments – possibly involving collusive postal workers. To date in 2018 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) has published six Payment Alerts covering phishing, malware on mobile phones, fraudulent mobile Apps, CNP fraud and Technological fraud. The EPTF has recently published payment terminology and definitions.

ATM malware and logical security attacks were reported by seven countries.  Four of the countries reported ATM related malware and six countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published eleven related Fraud Alerts.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by fourteen countries.  The overall trend is downward, as the recently published EAST European Payment Terminal Crime Report covering January to June 2018 highlights.  The usage of M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices was reported by four countries and one country reported the use of M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Devices.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by five countries, three of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations.  One country reported that a series of shimming devices at POS terminals had been detected and taken down.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published twelve related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 44 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 6 within SEPA.  The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, the USA and India.

Six countries reported incidents of Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF), one of which reported a new attack variant where the criminals use a ‘chip-on-a-strip’.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published five related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by eight countries and eight countries reported explosive gas attacks, one of which reported that two people had been sent to hospital due to related smoke inhalation.  Five countries reported solid explosive attacks.  The spread of such attacks has long been of great concern to the industry due to the risk to life and to the significant amount of collateral damage to equipment and buildings.  One such attack resulted in the death of a person, the first time that this has been reported.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published seven related Physical Attack Alerts.

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

46th EAST Meeting hosted by LINK in London

EASTThe 46th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by the LINK scheme in London on 9th October 2018. National country crime updates were provided by 18 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.

Europol gave a presentation which included information on the latest Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2018.

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

EAST Fraud Update 3-2018 will be produced later this month, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

EAST Publishes European Fraud Update 2-2018

FraudEAST has published its second European Fraud Update for 2018.  This is based on country crime updates given by representatives of 18 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and 3 non-SEPA countries, at the 45th EAST meeting held in The Hague on 6th June 2018.

Payment fraud issues were reported by fifteen countries.  Seven countries reported card-not-present (CNP) as a key fraud driver.  Two countries reported attempted ‘Forced Post’ fraud, possible when some point of sale (POS) terminals allow the ‘force sale’ functionality.  One country reported a new form of malware on android mobile phones, distributed with a fake application uploaded from third-party android stores.  Another country reported cases of SIM swap fraud, where fraudsters authorise a bank transfer by switching the customer’s mobile phone number over to a new SIM and intercept the authorisation message.  To date in 2018 the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) has published five Payment Alerts covering phishing, malware on mobile phones, fraudulent mobile Apps and CNP fraud.

ATM malware and logical security attacks were reported by nine countries.  Five of the countries reported ATM related malware.  In addition to Cutlet Maker (used for ATM cash-out) a new variant called WinPot has been reported – this is used to check how many banknotes are in an ATM.  Six countries reported the usage (or attempted usage) of ‘black-box’ devices to allow the unauthorised dispensing of cash.  To date in 2018 the EAST Expert Group on All Terminal Fraud (EGAF) has published seven related Fraud Alerts. To help counter these threats Europol, supported by EAST EGAF, has published a document entitled ‘Guidance and Recommendations regarding Logical attacks on ATMs’.  It covers mitigating the risk, setting up lines of defence and identifying and responding to logical attacks.  This is available in four languages: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Card skimming at ATMs was reported by fourteen countries.  For the first time one country reported the arrest of a Chinese national in connection with such attacks.  The usage of M3 – Card Reader Internal Skimming devices remains most prevalent.  This type of device is placed at various locations inside the motorised card reader behind the shutter.  Six countries reported such attacks.  One country reported the use of M2 – Throat Inlay Skimming Devices.  Skimming attacks on other terminal types were reported by five countries, four of which reported such attacks on unattended payment terminals (UPTs) at petrol stations.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published ten related Fraud Alerts.

Year to date International skimming related losses were reported in 31 countries and territories outside SEPA and in 3 within SEPA.  The top three locations where such losses were reported remain Indonesia, the USA and India.

Three countries reported incidents of Transaction Reversal Fraud (TRF), two of which reported new attack variants.  To date in 2018 EAST EGAF has published four related Fraud Alerts.

Ram raids and ATM burglary were reported by eight countries.  Six countries reported explosive gas attacks, one of which reported such attacks against ATS machines for the first time.  Another reported that explosive gas attacks against ATMs have started for the first time.  Five countries reported solid explosive attacks.  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 2018 the EAST Expert Group on ATM & ATS Physical Attacks (EGAP) has published five related Physical Attack Alerts.

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

EAST presents at Europol Training on Payment Card Fraud Forensics

card fraud forensics trainingOn 26 June 2018 EAST Development Director Rui Carvalho presented at the fourth edition of the Europol Training Course on Payment Card Fraud Forensics and Investigations at the Spanish National Police Academy in Ávila, Spain. His talk gave an overview of EAST and covered terminal and payment fraud in Europe from the perspective of the private sector.

The Europol training, which ran from 25 to 29 June 2018, covered a wide range of topics including cryptocurrencies, ATM malware, forensic tools for the examination of skimming equipment, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, EU regulation in non-cash payment, and data breaches or cyber attacks.

The training course was attended by 74 Investigators, forensic experts, and future police officers from 27 countries in the European Union, as well as from Iceland, Gibraltar, Montenegro, Moldova, Canada, Ukraine and South Korea.  Presentations were given by 33 speakers from different law enforcement agencies, the European Commission, Europol and bodies from the private sector (including EAST) and academia.  Since the first training in 2015 over 200 international students have benefited from the training programme, which has been supported by EAST.

45th EAST Meeting hosted by EC3 at Europol

EC3The 45th Meeting of EAST National Members was hosted by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol on 6th June 2018. 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.

EC3 presented on the latest initiatives and events relating to e-commerce fraud prevention, global airport actions (GAAD) to combat online fraud involving stolen or fake credit card data to purchase plane tickets, actions relating to virtual currencies, the Europol-ASEAN Strategic Payment Card Fraud Meeting, and provided updates on Advisory Group activities relating to Internet Security, Communication Providers and Financial Services.

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

EAST Fraud Update 2-2018 will be produced later this month, based on the national country crime updates provided at the meeting.  EAST Fraud Updates are available on the EAST Website to EAST Members.

The 46th EAST Meeting will be held in London on 9th October 2018 and will be followed by EAST FCS Seminars on 10th October 2018 at the same venue.

EAST assists Europol-ASEAN Strategic Payment Card Fraud Meeting

Payment Card Fraud - 5th Strategic MeetingEAST presented at the 5th Strategic Meeting on Payment Card Fraud held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 29-30 May 2018.  EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn gave an overview on Terminal Fraud and Payment Fraud as seen by the industry in Europe and highlighted the issue of related fraud migration to China and the ASEAN region.

The growing presence of chip cards in the European Union (EU) has seen an increase in fraudulent payments with European cards at ATMs in Asian countries. Organised crime groups from Europe set up cells in Asia, creating an illegal network, which resulted not only in a higher number of fraud cases, but also in an increase of violence and serious incidents where members of criminal organisations were killed.

The Payment Card Fraud Meeting was aimed at consolidating and strengthening cooperation under the EURASEAN Investigative Network on Payment Card Fraud to provide an adequate and effective answer to this criminal phenomenon. This network, led by Europol, is supported by both ASEANAPOL and INTERPOL, law enforcement officers from EU Member States and 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) with the assistance of EAST representing the private sector.

The EURASEAN network, established last year, has been increasingly efficient and boosted several investigations that led to arrests between Bulgaria and Vietnam, France and Thailand and Romania and Indonesia. International cooperation, based on the exchange of information, technical support and strategies, whereby organised criminal groups active in Asia and Europe were disrupted, fugitives detected, false ID documents seized and criminal assets recovered.

In the fight against fraudulent payments and cybercrime, law enforcement agencies are not the only ones involved: a fundamental role is also played by the private sector. Stopping cyber fraud in the financial sector requires dealing directly with the private sector.  EAST has been closely working with Europol since 2004 and has had working relationships with ASEANAPOL and INTERPOL since 2015.

The trusted relationships established between Europol, ASEANAPOL and INTERPOL are a crucial factor in strengthening security and, ultimately, protecting EU citizens.

The meeting was financed by EMPACT (European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats) and led by Romania. Bulgarian authorities led the action on cooperation with Asian countries.

EAST has supported all five of the Strategic Meetings on Payment Card Fraud held to date in the ASEAN region, as well as related meetings held in Europe and Latin America.

EPTF holds Third Meeting

EPTFThe Third Meeting of the EAST Payments Task Force (EPTF) took place on Wednesday 18th April 2018 at the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in Dublin.

The EPTF is a specialist task force that discusses security issues affecting the payments industry and that gathers, collates and disseminates related information, trends and general statistics.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Rui Carvalho, EAST Development Director, and was attended by key representatives from Card Issuers, Law Enforcement, Payment Processors, Payment Providers and Solution Providers.

Presentations were given by BPFI, Dutch Payments Association, EURO Kartensysteme GmbH, Europol, Groupement Des Cartes Bancaires, PayLife, Swordfish Security

The Group, which meets twice a year, adds value to the payments industry by using the unique and extensive EAST National Member platform and Associate Member network to provide information and outputs that are not currently available elsewhere.  EAST National Members represent 35 countries and outputs from the group are presented to National Member Meetings.  There are 198 EAST Associate Member Organisations from 52 countries and territories.

Mastermind Behind €1 Billion Cyber Bank Robbery Arrested

cobaltThe leader of the cybercrime syndicate behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks, which infiltrated over 100 financial institutions in 40 countries, has been arrested in Alicante, Spain.  The arrest followed a complex investigation conducted by the Spanish National Police, with the support of Europol, the US FBI, the Romanian, Belarussian and Taiwanese authorities and private cyber security companies.

Since 2013 the cybercrime gang have attempted to attack banks, e-payment systems and financial institutions using pieces of malware they designed, known as Carbanak and Cobalt. The criminal operation has struck banks in more than 40 countries and has resulted in cumulative losses of over €1 billion for the financial industry. The magnitude of the losses is significant: the Cobalt malware alone allowed criminals to steal up to EUR 10 million per heist.

Cashing out

The money was then cashed out by one of the following means:cobalt

  • ATMs were instructed remotely to dispense cash at a pre-determined time, with the money being collected by organised crime groups supporting the main crime syndicate: when the payment was due, one of the gang members was waiting beside the machine to collect the money being ‘voluntarily’ spit out by the ATM;
  • The e-payment network was used to transfer money out of the organisation and into criminal accounts;
  • Databases with account information were modified so bank accounts balance would be inflated, with money mules then being used to collect the money.

The criminal profits were also laundered via cryptocurrencies, by means of prepaid cards linked to the cryptocurrency wallets which were used to buy goods such as luxury cars and houses.

International police cooperation

International police cooperation coordinated by Europol and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce was central in bringing the perpetrators to justice, with the mastermind, coders, mule networks, money launderers and victims all located in different geographical locations around the world.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) facilitated the exchange of information, hosted operational meetings, provided digital forensic and malware analysis support and deployed experts on-the-spot in Spain during the action day.

The close private-public partnership with the European Banking Federation (EBF), the banking industry as a whole and the private security companies was also paramount in the success of this complex investigation.

The full Infographic can be seen on the Europol Website