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Hackers steal $2 million from ATMs at Taiwan's First Bank

Taiwan's First Bank was hit by hackers over the weekend who managed to steal $2 million out of several of its ATMs in a matter of minutes.

The country's police reported that several people wearing masks approached dozens of the bank's ATMs on Sunday. The thieves spent several minutes at each machine and were able to make off with $2 million in cash contained inside a backpack.

Interestingly enough, the thieves did not use any type of card to gain access to the machines but did so using a “connected device” which most likely came in the form of a smartphone. The police are currently on the look for the suspects who they believe to be from Russia and Eastern Europe.

The ATMs that the money was stolen from were produced by the German manufacturer Wincor Nixdorf. The company has confirmed that a number of its machines in Taiwan were hacked in what they believe to be a “premeditated attack.” Wincor Nixdorf though has sent some of its security experts to help aid in the local police's investigation.

Three different malware files were found on the ATMs that were tampered with. Malicious code on the machines instructed them to “spit out cash” and then delete any evidence that a crime had even occurred. This is the first time that Taiwan has dealt with such a case.

Wincor Nixdorf claims that it has found no evidence that the malware used in the robbery was put on its ATMs via their network.

First Bank and some other Taiwanese banks have halted the operations of some of their ATMs after the robbery. They have also began to check their other machines for any signs of malware infection.

Image Credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.