Fraud Summit: How ATM Attacks Evolve

LINK Director Says U.K. Banks Setting Global Example
Fraud Summit: How ATM Attacks Evolve
Graham Mott

ATMs continue to be a primary fraud target for hackers, and new malware attacks waged against Windows-based ATMs in the United Kingdom illustrate how quickly ATM-related fraud is evolving, says Graham Mott, director of the U.K.'s ATM network, the LINK Scheme. He'll be a featured presenter at Information Security Media Group's Fraud Summit in London on Sept. 23.

In an interview with Information Security Media Group, Mott explains why the rapid evolution of ATM-related fraud is making information sharing among banking peers more critical, and why cross-border cyber-intelligence is increasingly essential for combatting these emerging attacks.

"The malware they are using is very effective at overcoming the ATM protections in place," he says. "We live in an international age. Crimes cross borders. Criminals are always looking for new techniques. So, it's not the criminal who is migrating; it's the technique that is migrating."

Because the LINK Scheme connects all 65,000 ATMs in the U.K., it has a broad view of the types of attacks and techniques that are compromising terminals. "The advantage is that we are seeing all transactions which occur among financial institutions," he says. "So it gives us a very good opportunity to see where attacks are happening and to see what the techniques are."

And because all card-issuing institutions are members of the ATM network, LINK also is well positioned to disseminate information to its membership as soon as a new attack or technique is identified, Mott adds.

"It's really about trying to stay ahead of new techniques," he explains. "If you just look at what's happening now, you can't respond quickly enough. So this is really about trying to get organizations to look at fraud in the way they look at their competitors - to anticipate and counter."

During his presentation at the London Fraud Summit, Mott will review how information sharing among LINK members is helping banking institutions predict ATM fraud trends and help curb losses.

"The main message is how the techniques evolve over time," Mott says. "It's like an arms race. You've got companies trying to compete against each other," but they get more benefit from working together."

For more information about the summit, and for registration details, visit the ISMG Fraud Summit London webpage.

During this interview, Mott also discusses:

  • Low-tech ATM attacks that have seen a resurgence;
  • The negative impact ATM compromises have on brand image; and
  • Why ATM attacks waged in the U.K. set a bar for global crime trends.

Mott joined LINK as head of development and external relations in 2006. His role also includes technical development, fraud management, physical ATM crime monitoring and serving as a liaison with LINK's 37 member organizations. Mott works closely with external organizations, such as the government, Bank of England, Treasury, police, service suppliers and regulators.

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