ATM explosive attacks and low tech fraud incidents increase in Europe

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) has reported significant rises in both low tech fraud incidents and ATM explosive attacks, while card skimming incidents fall again
EDINBURGH, U.K. - Oct. 14, 2013 - PRLog -- EAST (the European ATM Security Team) has reported a 32% increase in ATM related fraud attacks, despite a 9% fall in card skimming incidents.  This overall increase is due to a surge in the number of cash trapping and transaction reversal fraud incidents.  7,885 such incidents were reported, up 77% from the 4,464 incidents reported in H1 2012.  While both these attack types can succeed in the EMV environment, as normal transactions take place on EMV cards, criminals get less from them than from high tech skimming attacks.

Overall ATM related fraud losses of €124 million were reported, down 5% from the €131 million reported in H1 2012.  Of these losses the majority (€121 million) are still due to card skimming, mainly outside Europe.  The USA, the Dominican Republic and Brazil are the top three reported locations for such fraud.  Losses due to cash trapping and transaction reversal fraud rose 31% to just under €2 million.

ATM related physical attacks on European ATMs increased by 4% (up from 968 to 1,007 incidents), driven by an increase in solid explosive and explosive gas attacks at ATMs.  These attacks rose 74%, from 194 in H1 2012 to 337, with one large country reporting this type of attack for the first time.  Such attacks were reported by eight countries, four of them were countries with more than 40,000 ATMs installed.

Overall reported losses due to ATM physical attacks rose by over 25% to €10 million.  The average cash loss for ram raids, ATM burglary and explosive attacks is €10,517 per incident.

EAST Director and Coordinator Lachlan Gunn said, "This rise in solid explosive and explosive gas attacks is of great concern to the industry.  In addition to cash losses collateral damage can be significant, as can the risks to industry staff and other parties.  As part of our strategic development we launched the EAST Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF) this year, to provide a specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM related fraud trends, fraud methodologies and counter-measures.  In 2014 we are planning to launch the EAST Expert Group on ATM Physical Attacks (EGAP) to focus on all ATM related physical attack issues, including the solid explosive and explosive gas problem.”

*EMV (also known as ‘chip and PIN’) is an industry standard for Smart Cards and card readers, supported by the European Payments Council and the major payment schemes

A summary of the report statistics under the main headings is in the table below.  The full report, with breakdowns for each crime category, is available to EAST members and subscribers on the EAST website


(Background data on the report & EAST follow)

EUROPEAN ATM CRIME REPORT H1 2013, Period: January to June 2013

The above release is based on a report prepared twice-yearly by EAST to provide interested parties with an overview of the European ATM crime situation.  It has been produced for EAST National Members, EAST Associate Members and EAST Subscribers, using statistics provided from 24 European states. The following countries, with an estimated total installed base of 397,367 ATMs, supplied full or partial information for this report:

Austria;  Belgium;  Cyprus;  Czech Republic;  Denmark;  Finland;  France;  Germany;  Greece;  Ireland;  Italy;  Liechtenstein;  Luxembourg;  Malta;  the Netherlands;  Norway;  Poland;  Portugal;  Romania; Slovakia;  Spain;  Sweden;  Switzerland;  the United Kingdom.

EAST intends to obtain such information from all 28 European Union states as well as from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

EAST has taken reasonable measures to develop the report this press release is based on in a fair, reasonable, open, and objective manner.  However, EAST makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness of the underlying data.  In addition, as the information in the report has been passed to EAST by other parties, errors or mistakes may exist or be discovered.  Neither EAST nor its members, authors, or agents shall be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any such information being provided.  All such liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, are expressly disclaimed and excluded.


Founded in 2004, EAST is a ‘non-profit’ organisation whose National Members are committed to gathering information from, and disseminating EAST reports to ATM deployers and networks within their countries/regions.  While the main focus of EAST is on ATMs, the group also focuses on all payment terminals that have a direct impact on crime perpetrated at ATM locations.

Our mission is to gather and provide information to the European ATM industry and to facilitate effective representation of ATM related security issues at relevant European central institutions, through a pan-European co-ordination of ATM security resources.

EAST has set up a framework network structure to improve co-operation with industry, law enforcement, and in particular Europol, in order to achieve awareness and better results in the fight against organised cross-border crime.  EAST National Members represent 29 countries with a total deployment of 624,597 ATMs.

The EAST Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF), formed in May 2013, provides a European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM related fraud trends, fraud methodologies and counter-measures, and for the provision of regularly updated  lists of known devices used for card or PIN or data compromise, for cash trapping, and for lists of known counter-measures.

In 2014 EAST plans to launch the EAST Expert Group on ATM Physical Attacks (EGAP) to provide a European specialist expert forum for discussion of ATM related physical attack trends, attack methodologies and counter-measures, and for the provision of regularly updated lists of known counter-measures.

More information can be found at
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Tags:Card skimming, Card Trapping, Atm Crime Statistics, Gas Attacks
Industry:Banking, Security
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