How they steal our money from the ATM: the police video

Hackers are increasingly targeting ATMs, here's how they operate and how to avoid losing our money when we withdraw

Everyone has experienced some fear when we go to withdraw money from an ATM. An unfriendly face behind us or the fear that a camera might spy on our PIN. It's not just unnecessary phobias, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting ATMs.

Using skimmers, installing malware inside the ATM or tampering with the ATM to record the secret codes users enter when withdrawing money. There are several techniques available to hackers and criminals to steal our money when we go to withdraw money from an ATM. The State Police, during the latest investigations related to the theft of money from ATMs in Palermo, has discovered that not only the outdoor ATMs but also the indoor ATMs have been targeted by cyber criminals. They enter the bank and install a virus on a small laptop that can spy on users as they withdraw money from their bank accounts.

How hackers act

It is quite easy for hackers to take control of an ATM. ATMs do not have very high security standards and it is not complicated for a hacker to install a virus and take over the machine. Alternatively, the attackers can install a skimmer, which is an electronic device with a magnetic stripe reader capable of storing data in a memory housed on a small card that the criminal can then insert on a PC to get back all the credit card data of the people who used the ATM.

How to defend your money at the ATM

To defend ourselves from this type of attack on ATMs there are a number of small tips to put into practice when we go to withdraw. First of all, when we enter an ATM, we do not insert our credit card lightly. If a skimmer has been applied, we will notice burns or adhesive plastic in the keys or in the card slot of the counter. If we have any doubts about the reliability of the ATM we avoid withdrawing. Secondly, we try to withdraw only from ATMs that are indoors and protected by automatic doors. Hackers lately manage to tamper with these as well, but certainly open-air ATMs are much easier to sabotage. Finally, we avoid withdrawing from ATMs near stations, airports or monuments of tourist interest. These are the ATMs mostly targeted by hackers and malicious people because they are also those that are used by a greater number of users.