Nagpur: Two ATM hackers, Anees Khan and Mohd Taleeb, were picked up from Palwal in Haryana earlier this week through a joint operation involving city police and their local counterparts.
The duo, one of which is likely to be a former bank employee, were allegedly behind thefts amounting to Rs 6.75 lakh from four ATMs of State Bank of India (SBI) from different parts of the city between July 14 and 16 this year.
Police said Talib’s ATM card was being misused for the hacking and theft. He had shared his card with Iqbal Khan and Anees. While Anees and Talib were being brought to city after producing them before Jaipur court in Rajasthan, Iqbal is yet to be nabbed.
Apart from past knowledge about technology, especially the loophole in the security protocol of one brand of ATM machines, police said the hackers seemed to have studied the methods of such crime on YouTube channels and videos.
The involvement of the ATM hackers in similar thefts after hacking the ATM software elsewhere in the country was not ruled out by CP Amitesh Kumar during a media briefing on Tuesday. “Cops have also seized a new car from the duo. The car was hypothicated with HDFC Bank which had helped us to gather the details of the two ATM hackers, their addresses and mobile phone numbers,” he said.
According to a senior police officer, the city police would now alert RBI too regarding the innovative ATM hacking techniques targeting a particular brand of ATM machines.
A team under Zonal DCP Noorul Hasan had managed to zero in on the culprits who used some unexplained hacking techniques to compromise SBI’s ATM machines of a particular company to steal cash in the denomination of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 repeatedly without letting it get recorded as transactions in the account.
“The manner in which the ATM software was compromised to withdraw cash but evade the transactions getting recorded or updated in the accounts has surprised us. It needs to be explored with the technical experts of the banking management and ATM technicians,” said the CP.
“The hackers had used an ATM card of an account holder from Palwal belonging to HDFC Bank,” he said. “We feel the ATM machine of a particular brand is highly vulnerable to hacking techniques across India used by the perpetrators nabbed by us,” he said.
Using their modus operandi, the two had stolen cash from ATMs at Bajaj Nagar, Rana Pratap Nagar, Central Avenue and Wardhaman Nagar.
Police said the case was detected through a technical investigative approach. The mobile phone details of the four locations where the theft had taken place were collected and analyzed on the basis of the ‘most or frequently called persons’. The common mobile numbers were traced to gauge the possible locations of the perpetrators.
It’s learnt that the mobile phone tower details had underlined the route which was used by the ATM hackers to return to their native place after stealing the cash.
The CP said the CCTV footage at the relevant locations at particular times (ascertained by the mobile phone tower locations) helped cops zero in on the registration numbers of the car being used by the hackers. “The RTO was approached to ascertain the details of the car which showed that it was hypothicated. The details available in the hypothication records helped zero in on the two ATM hackers,’ said the top cop.
· ATM hackers used techniques to avoid transactions getting recorded
· Targeted a particular ATM brand wherever it was installed
· Learnt techniques as ATM technicians or YouTube videos
· Police to alert RBI regarding ATM hacking
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