The US Justice Department has charged two men who allegedly committed bank fraud by hacking into ATM machines and forcing them to spit out cash like a slot machine jackpot.
Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz, a 31-year-old citizen of Spain, and Argenys Rodriguez, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts, appeared before a federal judge today and are being detained, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office in Connecticut.
The pair were arrested on related charges on Jan. 27, the Justice Department said. They were found in possession of more than US$9000 in US$20 bills as well as tools and devices that would be needed to compromise ATM machines and force them to eject cash, the authorities said.
The scheme uses malware designed to cause an ATM to eject all the US currency contained in the machine. Individuals dressed as repair technicians install the malware, and other individuals extract the cash.
The US Secret Service last week said a group of hackers likely tied to international criminal syndicates had pilfered more than US$1 million from ATM machines across the country.
The heists have been observed across the United States spanning from the Gulf Coast to New England, Matthew O‘Neill, a special agent in the criminal investigations division, said.
Diebold Nixdorf and NCR, two of the world’s largest ATM makers, also warned last month that cyber criminals were targeting ATMs with tools needed to carry out so-called jackpotting attacks.