Protecting Your ATM Against Theft and Fraud

Criminals are always looking for creative ways to steal money from your ATM. They duplicate cards, force fallback transactions, and even hack into processors. Most recently, the FBI issued a warning about an expected “ATM Cash-Out” attack: On August 11th, 2018, criminals hacked into India based Cosmos Bank, stealing over $11 million from ATMs in 28 countries. This attack, like the one executed in the United States in 2016 in which thieves made off with $560K from hundreds of ATMs, occurred because of a compromised processor.

How do ATM Cash-Out attacks happen?

Hackers send out phishing emails to networks that can infect computers with malware. The malware could allow sophisticated hackers to disable anti-theft and anti-fraud features, such as requiring PIN numbers and overriding daily transaction limits. These criminals would then create duplicate cards from accounts held at the bank, visit bank branded ATMs, and drain money from the ATM.

This level of fraud is very uncommon, but more importantly is not an issue with the ATM. Moreover, the network infected and compromised by the malware is responsible for losses.

What threats do ATM owners face?  

Risk is inherent in every venture. No one is impervious to the threat of theft; every business faces the risk of loss of property, goods, and money. The most common threats ATM owners face are:

  • EMV Fraud – Visa and Mastercard switched to the chip card in 2016, creating a more secure way of conducting transactions. ATMs that are not EMV compliant are more susceptible to fraud.
  • Forced Fallback transactions – Adept criminals bypass EMV transactions, forcing the processor to “fallback” to the unsecure magnetic strip.
  • Theft – Thieves are always looking for a way to gain access to the cash inside your ATM. Some even steal the entire machine.

While these very real threats do exist, there are ways to combat them.

How to protect yourself from ATM fraud and theft

NationalLink, the largest ATM processing company in the Western United States has over 16,000 machines nationwide. We understand the threats ATM owners face and want to share the preventative measures everyone should take:

  • Be EMV Compliant – Upgrading your ATM to accept chip cards will drastically reduce the risk of fraud. We offer EMV Upgrade Kits made by the manufacturers (Hantle, GenMega, Hyosung) so you receive quality parts.
  • Keep Software Up-To-Date – Updating your machine to the current software helps eliminate exposure to external risks. Our team of knowledgeable technicians can assist you in making sure you have the latest software.
  • Disable Fallback Transactions – Disabling fallback transactions stops fraudsters from forcing a magstripe transaction. Our trained Help Desk can walk you through disabling these transactions, thus helping add an additional preventative measure against thieves.
  • Protect Your Investment with An Enclosure – NationalLink offers a variety of secure steel enclosures for both indoor and outdoor stationed ATMs. These enclosures are made in the USA, come in a variety of colors, and are proven to deter thieves. There is no greater way to protect your machine than an enclosure from NationalLink.
  • Invest in An ATM Alarm – An ATM Alarm is a great way to scare off would be thieves and vandals. We offer the IIDAS ATM Alarm, a motion sensitive, 130dB alarm with a door sensor. The alarm can detect impact, abuse, abrupt rocking, and is easy to install.

Every threat present to ATM owners has a solution. NationalLink has over 20 years of experience dealing with, and counteracting, these threats. Let us help you take the necessary, preventative steps to help safeguard your investment.

Contact us today!