Criminals try to steal cash by smashing their way into an ATM


While cyber criminals use advanced hacking tools and malware to get their steals, some desperate ones still do it the old fashioned way. Such criminals resort to physical destruction of ATMs to plunder cash. Although the success rate is low, such attacks usually end up costing banks a lot of money. ATM machines are expensive and even unsuccessful attacks leave them in a state that can only be described with the help of a hilarious picture as the one on the left.

As reported by Brian Krebs, a recent attack on an ATM by a few robbers armed with hammers and crowbars resulted in a lot of expensive equipment (worth almost US$ 20,000) getting destroyed.

This is a lose-lose situation as no one benefits from a broken ATM machine. Not only does it cost the bank a ton of money, it is also a major inconvenience for users in that area.

Brute Force Attack

In hacking, brute force refers to an attack that tries all possible combinations of a given set of characters in order to crack a password. Here though, the literal meaning is applicable.



According to the technician on the scene:

“The burglars ruined a $13,000 cash acceptor, a $5,000 check scanner, a $900 monitor, and a $700 card reader, among many other pricey items. Hardly any part of the machine escaped damage.”

Physical attacks on ATM machines have increased significantly since 2014. These mostly include explosive gas attacks and the use of thermal tools to cut through the metal casing. In this case though, the criminals didn’t have the right tools for the job and got no reward for their endeavor. They did however, remind us of the days when theft just meant smashing into things with sticks and stones.

Have a nice (theft-free) day!

  • bonbonboi

    Why there was no money inside!

    • Flavia Auditore da Firenze

      It’s more that they did not cut into the safe containing the money (hence the thermal tools mentioned at the end).