The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued a statement jointly acknowledged by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security (DHI), and the Treasury, that a well-known hacking group originating from North Korea has found a way to hack bank accounts and make ATM withdraw millions in cash.
The hacking group names itself as the Hidden Cobra; and also has alternatives names like the Lazarus group and Guardians of Peace. This notorious hacking group has the capability to hack bank accounts because it has a very dirty record of hacking some of the big companies and organizations across the world. These companies include large multimedia companies such as Sony Pictures, hospitals, businesses, and other organizations.
According to intelligence reports, the North Korean government supports this the Hidden Cobra hacking group. This hacking group has attacking banks in the past too. The infamous SWIFT Banking attack in 2016 was also one of the attacks by the same hacking group.
FASTCash – New way to hack bank accounts
The details published by the US-CERT indicates that the new cyber attack is named as FASTCash. Although this hacking technique is new to us, the hacking group has been using it as late as early 2016. This hacking technique attacks the servers or computers that control of ATMs and also your banking records. Thus, they manipulate those servers to make the ATMs withdraw money.
How hackers hack ATMs to withdraw money?
The type of servers that are compromised by hackers are known as Switch application servers. These servers are responsible for the communication between ATMs, and Points of Sales and the central banking system.
Whenever a customer uses his banking card on an ATM or Point of Sale, the software in the ATM or POS connects with the switch point servers; to verify the transaction depending on the available balance in your bank account.
The FASTCash hacking attack intercepts the communication between the Switch application servers and the ATMs and validates the transaction. The accounts that hackers use usually have no account balance. This way, hackers fool ATMs and POSs to withdraw cash even though there is no money in the account.
Is your bank account safe?
As indicated earlier, the hackers use FASTCash hacking technique to hack bank accounts that usually have a minimum or zero amounts. Moreover, hackers have been using this hacking technique to compromise bank accounts all over America, Asia, and Africa. So, if you are a resident of one of these continents, you should contact your bank and verify if your bank account is safe.