AIBOC proposes guards for unmanned ATMs to verify frauds

New Delhi, June 2

Bank officers’ union AIBOC on Wednesday made a case for deployment of guards at all ATMs to check frauds.

In a letter to the Department of Financial Services under the Finance Ministry, the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) said there has been an increase in ingenuous ATM frauds perpetrated through sophisticated hacking attacks like ‘Man in the Middle’ (MiTM) that have surfaced at several cities of the country.

In MiTM attacks, cyber fraudsters secretly intercept the two-way encrypted messaging and data transfer between an ATM and its bank servers and manipulate it to prompt unguarded ATMs to spew cash, it said.

“The modus operandi of the frauds has caused serious concern over the internal security of the system. Criminals have increasingly tuned their malware to manipulate even niche proprietary bank software to cash out ATMs, while still incorporating the best of the classics—including uncovering new remote attacks to target specific ATMs,” it said.

If such frauds continue unabated, it will shake confidence of customers in this alternate channel, the letter addressed to Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda said.

All such frauds are taking place in unguarded ATMs in spite of e-surveillance being installed therein, it said, adding that such surveillance is not real-time and fraudsters are taking advantage of the vulnerability of unguarded ATM kiosks.

“It appears that almost all banks have taken a conscious decision to withdraw security guards/caretakers at their ATM Kiosks in an effort to reduce overheads, which has backfired.

“Such decision of the bank management has drained out crores of rupees through sophisticated cyber-attacks on ATMs that far outweigh the so-called savings from withdrawal of guards/caretakers,” it said.

The department can review the whole problems and accordingly initiate suitable measures, it said, adding the matter can be taken up with the banks as well as state governments for ensuring adequate security arrangements at ATM sites. PTI

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