A 29-year-old man allegedly part of a group that blew up at least 15 ATMs in Germany killed himself and injured an employee last year while filming a video tutorial about the blowing up of ATMs, so European authorities.
Europol in a statement This week it was said that Dutch and German police had arrested a total of nine suspects over the course of an 18-month investigation that concluded earlier this week.
According to Europol, the investigation began in February 2020 after authorities in Osnabrück, Germany, took note of unusual ATM orders from a German ATM manufacturer.
“Special surveillance measures were put in place that took investigators to Utrecht in the Netherlands, where a 29-year-old man and his 24-year-old accomplice ran an illegal training center for ATM attacks,” Europol said. “There the two of them ordered different models of ATMs and recorded tutorials on how to most effectively blow them up.”
These tutorials were allegedly intends to be presented in person to like-minded people, presumably out of concern that posting the videos on the internet would attract the wrong kind of attention.
In September 2020, the two of them were shooting one of these tutorials when things didn’t go as planned. The 29-year-old died, according to Agence France Presse, the 24-year-old was injured and taken into custody.
A report in the NLTimes Last year it was said that a 29-year-old was killed in an explosion in Utrecht on September 5, 2020. It does not explain the source of the explosion or mention any other survivors.
The investigation revealed connections between the bomb video makers and more than 15 attacks on ATMs in Germany, which have cost an estimated 2.15 million euros in money losses and property damage.
By April 2021, the Dutch and German authorities had set up a joint investigation team with funds from Eurojust, and Europol was participating in a separate operational task force to coordinate the allocation of resources between the two countries.
The investigation closed on September 28, 2021 when a search of seven homes in Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague, the Netherlands, led to the arrest of three suspects. These three are now waiting to be extradited to Germany. The six other detainees were arrested last year.
In April, the European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST) published a report on ATM crime in 2020. Overall, ATM crime has declined in the EU due to the social impact of COVID-19.
“While it’s good news that the number of fraudulent attacks on terminals has decreased so much, there are concerns that explosive attacks on ATMs have only decreased by 6 percent and associated losses have increased by 39 percent,” said EAST- Managing Director Lachlan. Gunn in a statement. “The average money lost in a massive bomb attack is estimated at $ 28,218, and collateral damage to equipment and buildings can be significant.”
There were 923 explosive ATM attacks in the EU last year, up from 977 in 2019.
However, malware and logical attacks on ATMs increased 44 percent over the same period (from 35 to 129). All of these were “black box attacks” in which unauthorized hardware sends commands to empty or “jackpot” ATMs. ®