Waving a gun around at a bank is so 10 years ago. With a little tech on their side, a squad of bank robbers were able to snag a cool $45 million in cash with nothing but some hacks and few old key cards that had ATMs across the globe virtually printing money.
An indictment unsealed today accuses eight people of being members of the NYC arm of the global crew that specialized in using fake ATM card to withdraw scads of cash from machines all over the world. The team hacked its way into a prepaid debit card data base, used the numbers to program a bunch of old cards—from blanks to hotel keys—and withdraw sweet, illicit cash through a series of thousands of transactions. The whole project netted them $45 million, with a whopping $2.8 million snagged in a single day.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called it "a massive 21st-century bank heist," but it still had the trappings of an old-school shakedown; several of the men involved were caught on security cameras going from ATM to ATM toting bags increasingly bloated with cash money.
The fun didn't last long though, and starting in March, alleged members of the New York cell were arrested one by one, often in possession of thousands of dollars in pilfered cash. The men are assumed to be part of a larger hacker network with its roots outside the U.S. where this kind of fraud is more common. They'll be hard-pressed to hack their way out of prison. [Seattle Times]