How to Open ATM Lock Without Key

July 16, 2023
David Sunnyside

If you’ve ever been curious how thieves steal money from ATM machines, this article will show you how they do it. Most ATM makers encrypt communications between the machine’s computer and cash dispenser to make this type of hacking difficult, but half the ATMs examined by researchers could be hacked to get at your cash. The problem is that many ATMs run security applications that can be bypassed. Some even allow you to use hotkeys (standard Windows combinations like Alt+F4 to close an active application or Alt+Tab to switch among open applications) to bypass the security application and directly connect to the ATM’s hard drive, where it’s possible to add malware.

Traditionally, ATM safes have relied on a combination lock or a key lock to secure their contents. However, these locks can be opened with relative ease by first-line maintenance people such as bank employees, cash replenishers and technical service personnel. This is because these people need to access the back of an ATM to replenish cash, service electronic and mechanical equipment and repair problems.

The best defense against such theft is to use machines located under video surveillance and in secure locations like banks. And if you’re using an ATM and you see someone lurking nearby, ask them politely to step back a few steps. After all, they may be using a hidden camera to steal your money. In addition to this, you can also keep your cash and card in a purse or wallet, cover the keypad while entering your PIN, and always check the ATM’s door and surrounding area before withdrawing funds.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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