ATM physical attacks soared 27% in 2018, EAST reports

he European Association for Secure Transactions has published its European payment terminal crime report for 2018, including the finding that ATM physical attacks have risen for the fourth consecutive year. ATM related physical attacks rose 27% in 2018 compared with 2017.

Within the total, ATM explosive attacks (including gas and solid explosive attacks) were down 3%, however, the number of countries experiencing explosive attacks rose from 10 in 2017 to 11 in 2018. Such attacks result in extensive collateral damage and can pose a risk to life, EAST said in a press release.

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks were 36 million euros ($40.5 million), a 16% increase from 2017. The average cash loss per explosive or gas attack is estimated at 17,103 euros ($19,260), the average cash loss for a robbery is estimated at 13,682 euros ($15,407) per incident and the average cash loss for a ram raid or burglary attack is estimated at 13,198 euros ($14,863).

Figures for ATM physical attacks do not account for collateral damage to equipment and buildings, which often exceeds the value of the cash lost in a successful attack, EAST said.

“The success rate for solid explosive attacks is of particular concern — such attacks continue to spread geographically with two countries reporting them for the first time in early 2019,” EAST Executive Director Lachlan Gunn said in the release.

“Our Expert Group on ATM and ATS Physical Attacks is actively monitoring the situation and provides a cross-border platform for the industry and law enforcement to share related intelligence and measures that can be taken to mitigate the risks.”

EAST report 157 ATM malware and logical attacks were reported in 2018 an 18% decrease from 2017. Of the attacks last year, 156 were “black box” attacks. Related losses were down 70%, from 1.52 million euros ($1.71 million) in 2017 to 450,000 euros ($506,814).