Threat Management, Malware

Two charged in ATM ‘jackpotting’ scheme that yielded $50K

Two men, who reportedly posed as ATM repairmen at a Citizen's Bank branch in Connecticut, were charged with infecting a drive-through ATM with malware and nicking up to $50,000 in a jackpotting scheme.

Argenys Rodriguez, 21, of Springfield, Mass., and 31-year-old Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz, a Spanish citizen, were charged in U.S. District Court in Hartford, Conn.  After opening the machine under the auspices of repairing it, the two men drove away, but were stopped by police officers, alerted by bank security officers, one of whom heard the ATM making noises as if it were dispensing money. The officer observed the machine “dispense a stack of $20 bills,” the complaint against the two men said, according to the Hartford Courant.

The two men were arrested with a substantial amount of cash and tools such as electronic devices, cables and wires.

The Citizen's Bank incident reflects a growing trend of organized criminals are physically accessing ATM machines and infecting them with malware that makes them spit out cash. The U.S. Secret Service a few weeks ago discretely warned financial institutions about an operation aimed at standalone terminals installed in various retail and drive-through ATM locations and targeting machines from North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer Diebold-Nixdorf -- specifically its front-loading Opteva series 500 and 700 terminals – with a sophisticated malware program called Ploutus.D.

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