Not to celebrate crime, but this global tech enabled heist that milked $ 45 million from ATMs in 26 countries is well - nothing if not innovative, Graph shows withdrawals of one of the "foot soldiers". The masterminds - and presumably the tech geniuses - are still at large.
"The process started when hackers used complicated computer tricks to breach the networks of two credit card processors that handle transactions for prepaid debit cards, according to authorities.
These cards are generally used by employers to pay employees or by charitable groups to distribute disaster assistance, authorities said. The accounts accessed by the cards are loaded with a specified amount of cash — but the hackers tweaked the virtual security protocols to drastically hike the limits or to do away with them entirely.
From there, the hackers sent the stolen information and PINs to the foot soldiers. The cashers took the information and encoded it onto useless plastic cards — anything with a magnetic stripe, like an old bank card or a gift card sold by a retailer. Next came the flash-mob part of the process, as the “cashers” descended on ATMs according to an intricate plan and used the wired cards to withdraw as much money as they could carry.
All the while, according to authorities, the hackers and brains behind the operation were monitoring each henchman’s take through computer networks. Cash crews in the two heists cleaned out ATMs in countries including Russia, Japan, Egypt, Romania, Britain, Sri Lanka, Canada and Colombia — 26 nations in all."