It's getting remarkably easy to hack ATMs these days, and security researchers say that Microsoft's aging Windows XP is making the problem worse. This week, security analysts at Symantec blogged about a new technique popping up in Mexico that uses text messages to give hackers access. It's as wild as it sounds.
The method does take some grunt work, though. The first step in this method involves installing a known type of malware called Ploutus on an ATM. This requires the thief to physically break into the cabinet and use a CD-ROM or USB stick to infect that machine. In the past, the attack would then be carried out using an external keyboard to crack the ATM's security system. Now, however, you can simply connect a cell phone to the machine via USB and send a text to the phone. The phone turns the text into a network packet that commands the ATM to spit out cash.