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ATMs as Vulnerable as Ohio Voting Machines

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HACK THE PLANET
DailyFeed
Remember those instructions to hack a Coke (KO) machine that circulated the web in '93? Well, what if it applied to ATMs and actually worked?

The Black Hat conference -- an annual consortium of hackers, digital ne'er-do-wells, and folks who've watched Angelina Jolie misjudge a Pentium processor way too often -- bore witness to the fantasy of 2600 readers everywhere. A literal depiction of what Hollywood believes hackers are capable of.

Security researcher Barnaby Jack was able to alter the code of an ATM and have it spit out a stack of cash.

According to CNet's Declan McCullagh, Jack had purchased two standalone ATMs and, for years, analyzed the code that kept them running. And through his research, he found numerous vulnerabilities and errors in the programming which allowed him to muscle his way in -- even without a password -- and control every process of the ATMs. In fact, those programming holes could be applied to any other type of machine made by the same manufacturer.

Jack told the audience, "Every ATM I've looked at, I've found a game-over vulnerability that allows an attacker to get cash from the machine." He added, "I've looked at four ATMs. I'm four for four."

Unfortunately for the wide-eyed teen who saw John Connor pull off a similar feat in Terminator 2, Jack contacted the companies a year ago and they patched up the coding errors. However, there's still hope yet. McCullagh writes, "If a customer with an ATM such as a convenience store or a restaurant doesn't apply the fix, though, the machines remain vulnerable."

Finally, a hack that doesn't involve a litany of scotch tape-covered one dollar bills.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.
TAGS:  ATM, HACKERS, 28.8 KBPS    SOURCE:   CNet
TICKERS:  NYSE:KO   

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