Cromwell cops: 2 men charged in Citizens Bank ATM ‘jackpotting’ hacking scheme
Photo: Cromwell Police Photo
Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz
CROMWELL — Two 31-year-old men are charged with seven felony counts each after they allegedly infected an ATM with a virus and stole an unknown amount of cash from Citizens Bank on Shunpike Road over the weekend.
The pair were caught after Citizens Bank security officials contacted the Cromwell Police Department about a malfunctioning drive-up ATM camera at 61 Shunpike Road at 5:05 p.m Saturday, according to a release from Police Chief Denise Lamontagne.
When officers arrived, they stopped two people who were driving away from the cash machine in a white Honda Accord. A registration check on the Massachusetts license plate on the vehicle showed it did not match the Honda, authorities said.
The drive-up ATM began dispensing money — forty $20 bills — on its own as officers interviewed the driver and passenger, Lamontagne said in the release. The suspects also possessed more than $9,000 in $20 bills, according to federal agents.
Working in conjunction with the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, the Greenwich Police Department and U.S. Secret Service, authorities arrested the occupants of the Accord: Alex Alberto Fajin-Diaz, of Venezuela; and Argenys R. Rodriguez, of Springfield, Massachusetts, both 31.
Each is charged with: third-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny, first-degree attempt to commit larceny, first-degree attempt to commit a computer crime, third-degree conspiracy to commit a computer crime, unauthorized use of a computer, fraudulent use of an ATM and misuse of registration plates. The first seven charges are felonies.
The investigation determined that a different person entered the ATM and infected it with malware, which caused the machine to dispense money, the chief said. Additional arrests are possible as the investigation is still ongoing, police said.
The two men were allegedly taking the money being dispensed, a crime known as jackpotting — a worldwide problem, Lamontagne said in the statement.
The malware causes an ATM to eject all of the currency in a cash machine, according to federal authorities. As part of the scheme, individuals dressed as legitimate repair technicians install malware on an ATM. Others then take all of the cash from the ATM.
Rodriguez is being held in lieu of a $350,000 bail and Fajin-Diaz is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail. Both are due back in Superior Court in Middletown on Feb. 13.
The men are also charged with federal bank fraud, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
According to court documents and statements made in court, law enforcement agencies and ATM manufacturers have been investigating malware attacks on ATM machines in Connecticut and elsewhere. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have been investigating recent jackpotting attacks on ATMs in Hamden and Guilford, as well as Providence, Rhode Island.
The federal bank fraud charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
Article From:- https://www.middletownpress.com