ATM Malware Gang That Stole Millions Nabbed

ATM skimming

The international criminal group thought to be behind a year-long series of malware attacks on ATMs across Europe was dismantled late last week.

The operation to take down the gang, which was overseen by the Romanian National Police and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crimes and Terrorism (DIICOT), assisted by Europol and Eurojust, as well as a number of European law enforcement authorities, resulted in multiple house raids and the arrest of eight suspects.

The criminals allegedly used a specific type of malware called Tyupkin, which was discovered by Kaspersky Lab and INTERPOL back in 2014. Tyupkin malware is used to infect ATMs and allows attackers to remove money via direct manipulation.

In a press release from Europol, the group is accused of inflicting “substantial losses across Europe to the ATM industry” through its malicious actions and is believed to have stolen millions of dollars from infected ATMs.

Europol Deputy Director of Operations Wil van Gemert said: “Over the last few years, we have seen a major increase in ATM attacks using malicious software. The sophisticated cybercrime aspect of these cases illustrates how offenders are constantly identifying new ways to evolve their methodologies to commit crimes. To match these new technologically savvy criminals, it is essential, as it was done in this case, that law enforcement agencies cooperate with their counterparts via Europol to share information and collaborate on transnational investigations.”

The large-scale ATM “jackpotting” performed by the attackers is believed to have resulted in at least €200,000 ($218,000) in damages to ATM machines throughout several European countries, including Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Hungary, ZDNet reported.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.