Threat Management

Three men convicted of ATM hacking in Taiwan, another 19 at large

Three Eastern European men, Latvian Andrejs Peregudovs, Mihail Colibaba from Romania and Niklae Penkov from Moldova have been jailed in Taiwan over the theft of $2.6m (£2.1m) from cash machines in the country.

The men were convicted by a court in Taipei for breaching the ATM's security by using malware to hack into 41 First Commercial Bank machines in three different cities in July last year.

Prosecutors sought 12-year jail terms for the hacker, saying the actions "seriously disrupted financial order and caused public panic". In response to the heist, the banks temporarily froze withdrawals from more than 1,000 cash machines around the island.

Another 19 suspects, including one French national and one Australian, are believed to have fled Taiwan.

Alex Mathews, lead security evangelist at Positive Technologies told SC Media UK: “Flaws in the underlying software used on many ATMs worldwide are increasingly becoming an open door attackers. Many ATMs still work on outdated operating systems such as Windows XP, which is not even updated anymore and is becoming ever more full of security holes.”

Matthews added: “To thwart modern bank robbers, the first step is to look at the human element and increase employees' awareness levels to spot and stop phishing attacks. In tandem, existing vulnerabilities should be identified and systems patched to close the holes that hackers look to exploit.”

Positive Technologies has previously detailed a similar case by Cobalt against a bank in Eastern Europe.

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