Securing the ATM: Part I – Types of Attacks

Securing the ATM
A recent global cyber-attack led to a lockdown of around 100 systems. The worrying part of the attack was the information system that proved to be a weak link is still being used by many ATMs in India.As banks in India continue to add more ATMs to their expanding network, it will throw up many challenges, security being one of the major concerns. ATMs not only hold millions of rupees in cash, they can also be used to extract customer data and PIN.To protect their ATMs, it is becoming increasingly important for banks to upgrade their security systems in order to stay on top of tech-savvy criminals who will stop at nothing to rob them.Types of ATM Attacks

ATM attacks can be divided into 3 broad categories:

    1. Burglary attacks – means physically removing or damaging the ATM machine
    2. ATM frauds – involve the stealing of customer information as well as cyber-attacks. The following are the most widely used techniques by fraudsters to gain information –                  Card skimming ,Keypad jamming ,Card trapping, Keystroke logging, Card swapping.
      An illegal copying of a card’s security data and transferring it to another card is called skimming. The counterfeit card is then used to withdraw money. Currently, it accounts for Maximum % of ATM attacks and losses.
    3. Robbery – where a criminal physically forces a customer using an ATM to hand over the withdrawn cash


While it is impossible to eradicate all threat to ATMs, there is much that banks and customers can do in order to secure ATMs. Come back next week to know more in Part II.