How Ksh.14M was stolen from Barclays Bank ATMs on Good Friday


How Ksh.14M was stolen from Barclays Bank ATMs on Good Friday

In Summary

  • Banks are now left grabbing the shorter end of the stick, with system upgrade touted as one of the immediate solutions to shield them from the latest spate of crimes of opportunity.
  • If they don’t upgrade, then they will remain vulnerable to compromise.

Details have emerged on how the Ksh.14 million heist on four Barclays Bank ATMs in Nairobi might have been conducted.

Cybercrime detectives suspect that three robbers might have jack-potted the ATMs to split money.

The jackpot technique has been described by experts as electronic interference of an ATM machine, where hackers can command it to release all its content.

CCTV footage from the four Barclays Bank ATMs affected pointed to a masked middle-aged man with a backpack making his way into a Probox vehicle with two other suspects onboard.

According to the Head of Cyber Security at Internet Solutions Kenya, Dr. Bright Mawudor, such a sophisticated loot can only be effected in a well-coordinated inside job.

“An operational security risk where someone from the inside has been able to give access to someone from the outside,” said Mawudor.

Mawudor confirmed that hackers hijack an ATM machine, code it using a laptop or mobile phone and cause it to spit out money like a slot machine.

An ATM machine can go at rates of up to 50 notes every 20 seconds withdrawing thousands of shillings in one go.

“Even if you manage to get to the safe you must have prior knowledge on ATM installation and software,” Mawudor added.

Banks are now left grabbing the shorter end of the stick, with system upgrade touted as one of the immediate solutions to shield them from the latest spate of crimes of opportunity.

If they don’t upgrade, they may remain vulnerable to compromise.

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Story By Hassan Mugambi
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