One of the biggest ATM jackpotting Russian hacker group arrested

Last Friday, French authorities said one of the world’s largest jackpotting networks had been tapped. According to the information security training specialists, hackers use this technique to empty ATMs using unauthorized transactions.

Two suspects, aged 26 and 31, and already having criminal records, have been charged and arrested, said Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz. Jackpotting has become one of the most prolific criminal hacking practices in the world.

The information security training specialists mention that, for these attacks, hackers only require inserting malware into a cashier (remotely or directly into the machine). The criminals then make cash withdrawals until the cashier is emptied.

The prosecutor says that between May 10 and 12, several individuals from the “Russian-speaking community” suspected of belonging to an international jackpotting organization were arrested in Colombes, on the outskirts of Paris. Heitz claims the criminals were arrested in flagrance while trying to compromise an ATM. The prosecutor added that this criminal association has worked throughout Europe, infecting ATMs, preferably at night.

French authorities say a hacker operating from abroad is in charge of this campaign. A jackpotting attack usually requires the participation of attackers acting within the borders of a given country, while its accomplices oversee the operation from abroad. So far, French police have reported nineteen jackpotting incidents that have resulted in losses of about 290 thousand Euros.

According to Francois-Xavier Masson, head of French agency to combat information and communication technology crimes, France is facing a new wave of cyberattacks related to ATM machines. This campaign could have started at the ending of 2019: “There was a previous wave in 2018, which we stopped, before resuming at the end of 2019. The way groups act constantly evolves, and these teams are international. But we’re also changing the way we act,” he added.

A report published by the information security training specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) claims that ATMs remain one of the favorite targets of multiple malicious users, especially in places where large numbers of these machines are concentrated. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused a man from Venezuelan for the hacking of several ATMs, resulting in large amounts of cash being extracted.