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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

ATM loophole exploited by Chinese software manager to steal USD 1 million

Wednesday 6 February 2019 | 12:21 PM CET

A Chinese software manager has been found guilty of stealing approximately USD 1 million from Huaxia Bank ATMs containing security weaknesses.

The ‘loophole’ spotted in the bank's core operating system by the former manager, employed in Huaxia Bank's software and technology development centre, offered an unrecorded timeframe in which to make withdrawals, according to ZDnet.

The employee realized that cash withdrawals made close to midnight were not recorded by the bank's systems in 2016, and in the same year, began systematically abusing the glitch. The software manager made withdrawals of up to USD 2,965 for over a year, the publication says. In total, Chinese law enforcement says that the former manager was able to steal over seven million yuan, equivalent to roughly USD 1 million.

The software manager was given a jail term of ten and a half years, and on appeal, the sentence was upheld. Huaxia Bank asked Chinese authorities to drop the case once the money was returned, of which all of the proceeds were recovered. However, this request was not accepted as ‘legitimate’ by law enforcement, and therefore the employee must serve his sentence.

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