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Comments
Hackers Cash In On ATMs
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RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2014 | 5:47:36 PM
Re: Root Default of ATM
Randy, 

You bring up a good point. How come ATM's aren't secured Linux shops? I would imagine that it would be more secure and cost effective. Not to say that Linux is a cure all, just I know it has a large percentage of effective security tools and safeguards. Is it the level of support? I don't know how thorough that component would be. If someone could, please clue me in on why this hasn't come to pass?
Randy Naramore
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Randy Naramore,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2014 | 11:47:11 AM
Re: Root Default of ATM
You would think that a more robust and updated OS would be used instead for ATMs of XP. XP was a great desktop system but with support being phased out and other options being available such as a locked down version of linux (take your pick) the ATMs would be less susceptable to some of the attacks than windows would be. Just a thought..
securityaffairs
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securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2014 | 2:16:13 PM
Re: Root Default of ATM
Ryan raises an interesting issues, the security level for many ATM is not acceptable.

Banks cannot think to continue to use phase out OSs like XP while cyber threats are even more sophisticated.

Physical protection is another serious problem, why are we surprised if the computers behind ATM is easily accessible? I'm not surprised by news regarding similar hacks ... the problem is elsewhere.

Why Does BIOS of the ATM machines allow booting from external and unauthorized media (e.g. CD ROMs , USB sticks)?

What's about disk encryption to prevent disk tampering?

This hack is the result of many errors!

This is not security

Thanks

Pierluigi
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
3/28/2014 | 4:38:37 PM
Root Default of ATM
I have read a few reports about Ploutus and yes it poses a very large risk, but I think the risk lies in the machines architecture and not too much in the "malware" being transferred via the device, USB, phone, etc.

Correct me if I am mistaken but it seems that these machines are in an administrative state for routine/emergency maintenance and its only the physical barrier that truly denies access to the kingdom. But as knights circumvent a moat, people have gotten past this safeguard and are tasking the machine with minimal intrusion.

One comment I saw on a forum regarding Ploutus, though cynical, carried some truth. You can't leave a machine in root status and expect it not to perform root tasks. 

As delineated in your article, banks are now undergoing expensive counter procedures to smooth out this issue. But that is more of a reactive approach and therefore a huge security flaw. It needs to be realized that security is most effective when handled pre-emptively. For whatever reason, these machines were left in a vulnerable state with only a thin physical layer to keep people out. What are other peoples thoughts regarding the ATM "hacks"?

 


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