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When the ATM runs Windows, how safe is your money?

Buchanan, William J

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Abstract

How safe is Microsoft Windows? After all, the list of malware that has caused major headaches worldwide over the last 15 years is long – viruses, worms and Trojans have forced computers to shut down, knocked South Korea offline and even overloaded Google’s servers. Now, how safe do you feel knowing that cash machines across the world run Microsoft Windows? An exploit has been discovered, apparently spread across Russia, India, and China, whereby cash machines can be turned into a free money vending machine. The hack requires re-starting the cash machine – essentially a Windows terminal – from a prepared CD that injects malware into the system to circumvent the security. At set times of the week, a unique code is generated and given to a “mule” who would approach the machine, enter the code, and withdraw up to 40 notes, anonymously and without trace.

Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2014
Publication Date Oct 13, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 15, 2017
Keywords Cybersecurity; computer software and programming; ATMs; hacking; Microsoft;
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/8774

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