Waving a gun around at a bank is so 10 years ago. With a little tech on their side, a squad of bank robbers based in New York City were able to snag a cool $US45 million in cash with nothing but some hacks and few old key cards that had ATMs across the city virtually printing money.
An indictment unsealed today accuses eight people of being members of a New York theft cell that specialised in using fake ATM card to withdraw scads of cash from machines across the city. The crew hacked their way into a prepaid debit card data base, used the numbers to program a bunch of old cards — from blanks to hotel keys — and then withdraw sweet, illicit cash through a series of thousands of transactions across the city.
Lawyer Loretta Lynch called it “a massive 21st-century bank heist”, but it still had the trappings of the classics; several of the men 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 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 US where this kind of fraud is more common. Too bad you can’t hack your way out of prison. [Seattle Times]