When the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) was introduced, the vast majority of security experts believed solved the problems caused by easy to clone magnetic stripe cards.
EMV chip-equipped cards implement an extra layer of security which makes these cards secure than the magnetic stripe cards.
In reality, also Chip-and-PIN cards are not so complicated to hack, this is what a group of researchers from Rapid7 demonstrated at the Black Hat USA 2016 conference. The group of experts have demonstrated how crooks can withdraw up to $50,000 in cash from an ATM in America in under 15 minutes.
Simple modifications to equipment would allow attackers to bypass the Chip-and-PIN protections as explained in the paper published by the team and titled “Hacking Next-Gen ATMs: From Capture to Washout.”. The team of researchers was able to show the audience an ATM spitting out hundreds of dollars in cash.
The presentation made by the researchers was spectacular, the hacker demonstrated the hack by forcing an ATM spit out hundreds of dollars in cash.
In a first phase of the attack, fraudsters mount a small Shimmer to the ATM card reader in order to carry on a man-in-the-middle (MITM).
The shimmer is a skimming device for EMV cards, is a RaspBerry-Pi-powered device that could be installed outside of the ATM without access to the internals of the cash machine.
The shimmer sits between the card chip and the card reader in the ATM, it is able to record the data on the chip, including the PIN, when the ATM reads it. In this phase, once captured the data, the device transmits it to the attackers. In the second half of the attack, fraudsters use a smartphone to received the stolen card data and recreate the victim’s card in an ATM to instructing the machine to eject cash.
The data is remotely sent to another device, which researchers have dubbed “La-Cara.”
La-Cara that could be assembled with $2,000 components is placed on an ATM machine, is emulates the presence of the EMV card inserted into the card slot. The data stolen by the shimmer are remotely sent to the La-Cara device which instruct the ATM to withdraw money from the card.
“The modifications on the ATM are on the outside,” Tod Beardsley, a security research manager for Rapid7, told the BBC.
“I don’t have to open it up. It’s really just a card that is capable of impersonating a chip. It’s not cloning.”
“It’s really just a card that is capable of impersonating a chip,” Beardsley added. “It’s not cloning.”
The device is easy to install, crooks can mount it quickly outside of the ATM without access to the internals of the cash machine.
Watch out, data used in the EMV to enable transactions are dynamic, this means that crooks can use them only for a very short period of time (e.g. up to one minute). This means that fraudsters have to complete the operations is a short time.
Researchers from Rapid 7, have already reported the details about the hack to banks and major ATM manufacturers.
(Security Affairs – EMV cards, hacking)