$45M ATM Theft Prompts Investigation, More Heists Expected

A recent $45M ATM theft has put security officials from around the world on high alert.

Eight individuals were arrested in New York for allegedly draining area ATMs of quite a bit of money. It’s currently believed that the same crimes occurred in no less than 27 other countries.

The organized heists have prompted security experts and law enforcement agencies from across the globe to launch investigations. US Securities and Exchange Commission regional director Rose Romero believes this sort of crime will become much more commonplace.

“Unfortunately these types of cybercrimes involving ATMs, where you’ve got a flash mob going out across the globe, are becoming more and more common. I expect there will be many more,” Romero told The Associated Press.

The individuals who were charged in New York City of participating in the $45 million ATM theft reportedly used the cash to buy cars, watches, and other luxury items. The suspects are said to have drained machines of around $2.8 million. The heists took place in December and February, with each attack taking place over a handful of hours.

Authorities believe the ring used debit cards issued by the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman. After the criminals hacked into the banks and altered the amount of available funds, they were able to remove the money from area ATM machines.

The suspects in New York reportedly made around 3,800 transactions in order to obtain the estimated $2.8 million they received from the machines. Booz Allen senior vice president Bill Stewart said the use of ATMs proves that security needs to be stepped up by certain banks.

“The run of the mill criminals are more common [in cybercrime] than you think,” he explained. “There are still many institutions these days are not practicing good security hygiene. So these kinds of attacks work.”

What do you think about the suspects who managed to obtain millions of dollars during a worldwide $45M ATM theft?

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