Feeds

Fake ATM scam rumbled by Defcon hackers

Black hats in Fear & Loathing conference moment

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

White hat hackers attending the DefCon conference in Vegas last week uncovered the presence of a fake ATM in the show's venue.

Fraudsters placed a fake ATM kiosk in the Riviera Hotel Casino at an unknown time prior to the conference. The scam was uncovered after eagle-eyed hackers noticed something wrong with the machine.

"They looked at the screen where there would normally be a camera," Priest, a senior conference organiser, told Computerworld. "It was a little bit too dark, so someone shined a flashlight in there and there was a PC."

The counterfeit device was designed to log card data and the associated PIN numbers of cards used on the machine for later retrieval by hackers. This information would presumably be used to manufacture counterfeit cards that would be used to loot compromised accounts.

It's unclear how long the card skimming scam had been in operation before it was brought to a rapid close late last week. Defcon organisers notified local law enforcement officers, who took away the machine for tests.

The unknown crooks behind the scam installed their machine next to the hotel security entrance, in one of the few areas of the casino away from surveillance cameras. However they'd failed to take into account that the hotel would soon be visited by more than 8,000 security pros well versed in the ways of cybercrime, and more likely to spot such scams than the average Vegas convention goer.

ATM-related scams remain commonplace in Vegas. The US Secret Service and local law enforcement are investigating separate reports about ATM machines that debited accounts without dispensing cash. The suspected fraud came to light after conference presenter Chris Paget unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw $200 from an ATM at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino last weekend, PC World reports. The ATM "whirred and chugged," according to Paget, but failed to dispense any money. Subsequent checks online revealed that Paget's account had been debited.

Other people reported the same problem, the cause of which is still unclear. Anything ranging from simple machine malfunction to malign tampering of one sort or another remain possibilities.

The particular focus on suspected ATM fraud during DefCon this year ironically follows a decision to cancel a planned talk on ATM security at Black Hat, the other security conference taking place in Vegas last week. Barnaby Jack, a security researcher at Juniper Networks, was blocked from giving his presentation after the unnamed ATM inventor involved put pressure on Juniper to delay the presentation, at least until it had time to address the reported problem. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.