News broke last week that seven people accused of operating the New York cell of what prosecutors said was a network that carried out thefts at ATMs in 27 countries. Law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen nations were involved in the investigation.
Hackers got into bank databases, eliminated withdrawal limits on pre-paid debit cards and created access codes. Others loaded that data onto any plastic card with a magnetic stripe for use on ATMs.
A network of operatives then fanned out to rapidly withdraw money in multiple cities, authorities said. The cells would take a cut of the money, then launder it through expensive purchases or ship it wholesale to the global ringleaders.
NEW YORK (AP) – A gang of cyber-criminals operating in 26 countries stole $45 million by hacking their way into a database of prepaid debit cards, federal prosecutors in New York said Thursday. The U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta Lynch, called it “a massive 21st-century bank heist” and said the fraudsters had moved with astounding speed to loot financial institutions around the world.
When you consider these bank databases are nothing more than cloud storage, you can really see how so much reliance on these systems leaves us vulnerable to the whims of criminals. Alternatives to the banking systems cloud-based transaction system may not be fleshed out yet considering the whole ATM thing, but existing markets can benefit from non-cloud backup immediately. First of all in order to steal your data a thief would have to crack the encryption key which at 448 bit encryption would take 12.7 BILLION years to break with a computer making 1 billion attempts per second. It’s more likely that someone would steal your username and password before that time.
Stealing your account information is the most common way criminals break into computer-based systems. Unfortunately for cloud-backup users this means anywhere from hundreds to millions of ways to get your information compromised. For dedicated private backup users, not only is the username/password combination the only way to access their data, but there can also be an auxiliary encryption-key stored on say a thumb drive that keeps the data encrypted again…so even if someone stole your username and password they would need to get that encryption key you keep in that safety deposit box in that one bank downtown with the electrified doors.
Read more: Time