(Reuters) — A coordinated group of hackers seemingly tied to worldwide prison syndicates has pilfered greater than $1 million by hijacking ATM machines throughout the United States and forcing them to spit out payments like slot machines shelling out a jackpot, a senior U.S. Secret Service official mentioned on Monday.

Within the previous few days there have been a few half-dozen profitable “jackpotting” assaults, the official mentioned.

The heists, which contain hacking ATMs to quickly shoot out torrents of money, have been noticed throughout the United States spanning from the Gulf Coast within the southern a part of the nation to the New England area within the northeast, Matthew O‘Neill, a particular agent within the prison investigations division, informed Reuters in an interview.

The spate of assaults represented the primary widespread jackpotting exercise within the United States, O‘Neill mentioned. Previous campaigns have been noticed in components of Europe and Latin America lately.

“It was only a matter of time till it hit our shores,” O‘Neill mentioned.

Diebold Nixdorf Incand NCR Corp, two of the world’s largest ATM makers, warned final week that cyber criminals are focusing on ATMs with instruments wanted to hold out jackpotting schemes.

The Diebold Nixdorf alert described steps that criminals had used to compromise ATMs. They embody gaining bodily entry, changing the exhausting drive and utilizing an industrial endoscope to depress an inside button required to reset the system.

A confidential U.S. Secret Service alert seen by Reuters and despatched to banks on Friday mentioned machines working XP have been extra weak and inspired ATM operators to replace to Windows 7 to guard in opposition to the assault, which seemed to be focusing on ATMs sometimes situated in pharmacies, massive field retailers and drive-thrus.

While preliminary intelligence instructed solely ATMs working on outdated Windows XP software program have been being focused, the Secret Service has seen profitable assaults throughout the previous 48 hours on machines working up to date Windows 7, O‘Neil mentioned.

“There isn’t one magic answer to resolve the issue,” he mentioned.

A neighborhood digital crimes job power within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan space first reported an unsuccessful jackpotting try final week, O‘Neill mentioned.

Just a few days later one other native companion witnessed comparable exercise and “developed intelligence” that indicated a sustained, coordinated assault was more likely to happen over the following two weeks, O‘Neill mentioned. He declined to say the place that companion was situated.

Jackpotting has been rising worldwide lately, although it’s unclear how a lot money has been stolen as a result of victims and police typically don’t disclose particulars.

This article sources data from VentureBeat