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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Payment terminal related fraud attacks drops in Europe

Wednesday 10 April 2019 | 12:49 PM CET

The European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST) announced that payment terminal related fraud attacks fell 36% when compared with 2017.

The number of attacks dropped from 20,971 to 13,511 incidents.This fall was mainly driven by a 26% decrease in card skimming incidents (down from 2,556 to 1,883 incidents) and by a 66% fall in transaction reversal fraud incidents (down from 14,098 to 4,843 incidents).

A total of 157 ATM malware and logical attacks were reported, down from 192 in 2017, an 18% decrease. 156 of the attacks were logical attacks where equipment typically referred to as a ‘black box’ is used to send dispense commands directly to the ATM cash dispenser in order to cash-out the ATM. Related losses were down 70%, from EUR 1.52 million to EUR 0.45 million.

However, ATM physical attacks in 2018 have risen for the fourth consecutive year, according to the crime report released by EAST. These type of attacks rose 27% when compared with 2017 (up from 3,584 to 4,549 incidents). Within this total ATM explosive attacks were down 3% (down from 1,081 to 1,052 incidents). Explosive attacks remain a cause for concern as the number of countries reporting them has risen from ten in 2017 to eleven in 2018. Such attacks result in extensive collateral damage and can pose a risk to life.

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks were EUR 36 million, a 16% increase from the EUR 31 million reported during 2017. The average cash loss per explosive or gas attack is estimated at EUR 17,103, the average cash loss for a robbery is estimated at EUR 13,682 per incident and the average cash loss for a ram raid or burglary attack is estimated at EUR 13,198. These figures do not take into account collateral damage to equipment or buildings, which can be significant and often exceeds the value of the cash lost in successful attacks.

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