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Thailand Central Banks Warn Of ATM Hackings; 'Cyber-Gang' From Europe Blamed

Jayson Derrick

Thailand's central bank was forced to issue a warning to all commercial banks that their banking systems could be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

According to the Bangkok Post, the central bank of Thailand (BoT) said that a gang of cyber-criminals from Eastern Europe stole 12 million baht, or $350,000.

Hackers were able to infiltrate the state-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) through cash machines over a week-long period from August 1 through August 8. The cash machines were infected with malware that made the machines spew out cash.

The government said on Tuesday it will shut down half of its entire fleet of cash machines across the country after attempting to cover up the thefts for weeks.

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The report noted that the thieves likely studied the infrastructure of the cash machines for some time, and the bank is unable to detect any theft until an employee counts the cash remaining in the machine.

A similar theft occurred in Taiwan in July when malware programs were used to withdraw cash. According to the International Business Times, the eight largest banks in Taiwan similarly shut down activity on its cash machines last month after thieves successfully stole NT$70 million, or approximately $2.2 million.

The International Business Times also quoted Thailand's police general Panya Mamen, who said, "As of now the evidence we have found makes us confident that this group is linked to the gang who committed a similar robbery in Taiwan."

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