ATM Thieves Take $45 Million in Just Hours
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

ATM Keypad

(Image: Thinkstock)

Talk about the high-tech robbery! No ski masks or guns needed for the network of thieves who stole $45 million from thousands of bank ATMs in just a few hours.

Operation masterminds employed computer experts from the Internet hacking world to manipulate bank financial information and rig ATM debit cards for simultaneous withdrawal of the money in more than two dozen countries, the New York Times reports.

However, not all the thieves were clever enough to get away. (Some of them here in New York City were dumb enough to snap cell phone photographs of themselves posing with piles of cash. Geniuses!)

On Thursday, federal prosecutors in New York City unsealed an indictment charging eight men involved in the heist, considered one of the largest in New York City history and possibly the most sophisticated cybercrime attack ever uncovered.

Kim Peretti, a former prosecutor in the computer crime division of the Justice Department told the Times the heist is evidence of a serious flaw in security for the global banking industry.

“When you have a scheme like this, where the system can be manipulated to quickly get access to millions of dollars that in some sense did not exist before, it could be a systemic risk to our financial system,” she said.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.