Seven Japanese banks were hit hard in early May when a group of hackers withdrew some 1.4 billion Yen (about RM53 million) from ATMs in under two hours. Police suspect that the act was performed using counterfeit credit cards made using banking information stolen from a South African bank.
The hackers canvased some 1,400 convenience store ATMs on the morning of 15 May; which lead the police to suspect that the group includes over 100 people. Some 14,000 transactions were performed during this time, with 100,000 Yen withdrawn at a time.
Japanese police are cooperating with South African authorities and INTERPOL to determine the identities of the hackers, as well as discover how the information from the South African bank ended up leaked to the criminals.
According to a report by Japanese newspaper The Manichi, the ATM transaction records shows that information from 1,600 credit cards were used. Should this information be proven accurate, then it would appear there is yet another bank that has suffered a severe data breach.
It is unclear how the hackers managed to get hold of the credit card data in the first place. There has been no report of a data breach coming from South Africa, which indicates that the information could have been obtained through card skimmers set up in the country to capture information from unsuspecting victims.
[Source: The Manichi]