Secret Service Warns of New Cyber Monetary Risk

Jackpotting ATMs

Jackpotting has been rising worldwide in recent years, though it is unclear how much cash has been stolen because victims and police often do not disclose details.

US authorities warned financial services firm Diebold Nixdorf on January 26 that a potential wave of attacks would spread from Mexico to the United States "within the next days".

"That's where you get the term jackpotting from because it is basically like a slot machine that you hit the jackpot - you are basically taking all of the money out of the ATM", supervisory special agent Matt O'Neill told ABC News. Officials say they received a tip that a coordinated attack on ATM's across the country was planned for the next 10 to 15 days.

Attacks have been spotted across the country, ranging from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf region to New England.

Fraudsters pose as ATM technicians, even wearing uniforms and access the teller machine. Once rebooted, the ATM appears out of service to customers but the criminals can remotely control it, forcing it to dispense cash that is then collected by other members of the gang.

According to O'Neill, the suspects usually work in teams with one suspect first reconfiguring the ATM and another then moving in later to steal the money.

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At least six attacks have taken place within the last week.

O'Neill says it's transnational organized crime using a mixture of global criminals and people who are already in the United States.

A local electronic crimes task force in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area first reported an unsuccessful jackpotting attempt last week, O'Neill said.

"Criminals have been able to find vulnerabilities in financial institutions that operate ATMs, primarily ATMs that are stand-alone", the Secret Service said in a release shared with CNN Tech.

"It was just a matter of time until it hit our shores", O'Neill said.

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