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Syndicate Used Computer Virus To Steal Money From ATMs

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KUALA LUMPUR – The syndicate that preyed on bank Auto-Teller Machines (ATMs) the last two days used a computer virus known as ‘ulssm.exe..’ to steal money from them.

Federal police Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Mortadza Nazerene (pic) said the virus would issue instructions to make withdrawals on the amount still left in the ATM being hacked.

“The suspects were found to have opened the top panel of the machine without using a key and inserted a compact disc into the machine’s processing centre which caused the ATM’s system to reboot,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

He said they then used a keyboard to hack into the system and take out money.

According to him, information obtained from the systems engineer of a bank indicated that up to 40 notes could be taken out in a single transaction using the method.

In a related development, Petaling Jaya police chief, ACP Azmi Abu Kassim said five police reports had been lodged on such hacking of ATMs around Petaling Jaya.

The ATMs were located at Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya (Affin Bank, losses of RM303,000); Dataran Sunway (Al-Rajhi Bank, RM285,700); Seksyen 14, Petaling Jaya (Bank Islam, RM395,850); Kota Damansara (Bank Islam, RM221,160) and Kelana Jaya (Al-Rajhi) where the full amount lost has yet to be ascertained.

Another Al-Rajhi Bank branch in Section 9, Shah Alam lost RM116,000 to similar hacking.

Shah Alam police chief ACP Azisman Alias said police received a report on the matter at 7pm Sunday after the branch manager’s audit found money to be missing from its ATMs.

“The manager then reviewed the CCTV recording and found two suspects, believed to be Latin Americans making repeated withdrawals at around 12.30am on Sept 28,” he told Bernama.

Azisman said the modus operandi was the same as at the ATMs preyed on in Johor, Melaka and Selangor.

The media had reported on Sunday that a total of RM530,600 was stolen from ATMs of Affin Bank branches in Johor and Selangor after the machines were hacked, believed to be by using telephone SIM cards and sophisticated telephony technology. – Bernama

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