As was recently reported on public outlets, the FBI’s Cyber Division issued a Private Industry Notification to financial institutions stating, in part, “…the FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an ‘unlimited operation.’”

In an unlimited operation, cyber criminals alter records such as account balances and withdrawal limit thresholds to allow large amounts of cash to be removed from ATMs. LEVERAGE has recently partnered with CU Assured and Pivot to provide solutions to protect your credit union from these type of attacks.  Read more on tailored solutions to protect your credit union and minimize risk.

How Can Credit Unions Protect Themselves? 

There are multiple best practices for protecting the security of systems and networks. Some of these include: NCUA CyberSecurity Resources, FFIEC Information Security guidance, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (or PCI-DSS), as well as other industry recognized guidance.

Other actions that financial institutions can take to reduce their vulnerability to such an attack include:

  • Putting practices in place to identify unauthorized changes to member balances.
  • Requiring dual authorization procedures for changing settings of withdrawal thresholds to help detect uncommon changes to standard threshold settings.
  • Implementing processes to block the execution of malware.
  • Blocking execution of files from TEMP directories, from which most phishing malware attempts to execute.
  • Patching systems for critical vulnerabilities.
  • Testing DVR surveillance recording systems to ensure optimal performance.
  • Being sensitive to ATM cash cassettes that are unexpectedly empty.
  • Read more on tailored solutions to protect your credit union.

What Steps is CO-OP Taking?

  • Along with our usual monitoring for fraud, CO-OP is watching for any spikes in card fraud at ATMs.
  • We have reached out to FICO Card Alert in case they discover any fraud activity connected to this alert that CO-OP could benefit from for the purpose of strategies and rule writing.
  • FICO Card Alert Service will directly contact any credit union that it deems affected by potential counterfeit ATM cash out fraud. This is standard procedure 365 days per year.
  • We have also contacted our counterparts at our processing partners so that we can work together if we or they detect a trend along these lines.

CO-OP, LEVERAGE and the LSCU will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update you if additional information becomes available. Read more on tailored solutions to protect your credit union.