European ATM losses from Black Box fraud pass the €1 million mark

The European Association for Secure Transactions (East) is reporting a sharp rise in ‘jackpotting’ Black Box attacks on European ATMs in the first six months of 20202.

A Black Box attack is the connection of an unauthorised device which sends dispense commands directly to the ATM, in order to ‘cash-out’ or ‘jackpot’ the machine.

East says that ATM malware and logical attacks against cash machines were up 269% (from 35 to 129) and all the reported attacks were Black Box attacks. Related losses were up from less than €1,000, to just over €1 million.

Financial institutions had more success in clamping down on more established fraudulent activity. Terminal related fraud attacks were down 66% (from 10,723 to 3,631 incidents), card skimming fell to another all-time low (down from 731 to 321 incidents) and transaction reversal fraud (TRF) at ATMs decreased by 97% (down from 3,405 to just 108 incidents).

Total losses of €109 million were reported, down 12% from the €124 million reported during the same period in 2019.

Brute force physical attacks on machines were down 23% (from 2,376 to 1,829 incidents). Attacks due to ram raids and ATM burglary were down 34% (from 610 to 405 incidents) and ATM explosive attacks (including explosive gas and solid explosive attacks) were up 0.4% (from 503 to 505 incidents).

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks were €12.6 million, an 11% increase from the €11.4 million reported during the same period in 2019. This increase was driven by a rise in losses due to explosive and gas attacks, which were up 49% from €5.1 million to €7.6 million.