How are ATMs cracked

ATM cracked with USB stick - loot 662,630 euros!

A gang of four from Romania is said to have fetched 662,630 euros from German machines, most of them were in Berlin. This is where the process began.

In Grimm's fairy tales there is a donkey that, on command, spits gold without end. The modern cash cow is called jackpotting: ATMs are manipulated in such a way that they spit out all the bills they have in one fell swoop. A gang of four from Romania is said to have fetched 662,630 euros with the Goldesel 2.0 from German machines, most of them were in Berlin.

THE PROCESS. The alleged gang boss lolls in a white shirt behind armored glass in the dock: Radulian H. (39). Electrician. German and Romanian passport. They are said to have set up their headquarters in General-Woyna-Strasse (Reinickendorf). With student Matei-Petru G. (36) as the technical mastermind and the drivers Marian C. (26) and Mircea Ci. (52) stand for grease.

WHO INVENTED IT? Jackpotting has nothing to do with jackpot (as in the lottery). The inventor is hacker legend Barnaby Jack. In 2010 the New Zealander got an ATM on the stage of a security conference in Las Vegas (USA) to spit its entire supply into the audience. Back then, hacker Jack made the public aware of the vulnerability.

There are still conspiracy theories surrounding the death of the 35-year-old three years later. He officially died of a drug-medication cocktail in San Francisco in 2013. He had also hacked implanted insulin pumps and was just about to prove that it can be done remotely with pacemakers.

THE BERLIN JACKPOTTING SERIES. It began on October 4th, 2018. It wasn't until October 8th, 2019 that the boss and mastermind were arrested. The others later volunteered in Romania and were extradited. In October 2018 there were ATMs in Reinickendorf (Kurt-Schumacher-Damm), Wedding (Turmstraße, Müllerstraße), Mitte (Spandauer Straße, Brunnenstraße, Torstraße), Neukölln (Hermannstraße, Badstraße, Sonnenallee, Potsdamer Straße), each with amounts up to 52,200 euros.

Alone in the night of 14./15. October 2018 five machines, a total of 130,600 euros in booty. On March 8, 2019, the loot at a single machine in Oderberger Straße (Prenzlauer Berg) was as much as 76,600 euros! The defendants are also said to have been active in Dortmund (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Barsinghausen (Lower Saxony).

THE MONEY IS GONE. Only tools for the crime were seized: laptops, scalpels, finger protectors, radio receivers, USB sticks, laser pointers. Regarding the technical procedure, the prosecution cryptically writes that the cyber criminals had “provided the ATMs with malware in order to take control of the ATM computer and the payout function”. Property damage was caused by cutting open a “plastic housing”, but rarely.

PRISON DISCOUNTS FOR CONFESSIONS. The judges offered the alleged gang boss a maximum of four and a half years in prison as a sentence if he confesses. He refused, smiling. His defense attorney is a professor, one of the best (and most expensive) lawyers in Berlin. The other three want to confess. The mastermind then gets away with a maximum of three years and four months in jail.

The Schmiere stayers with a maximum of two years and four months in prison. The accused are commercial and gang computer fraud and computer sabotage as well as property damage. The public prosecutor's office also wants to collect the wrongly obtained money from the cyber criminal: At least 331,215 euros from the boss, 128,620 euros from the technician, the rest from the Schmiere stuck. Next May 11th. Judgment June 22nd.

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