Thai authorities are on alert after a gang of carders managed to steal hundreds of thousands of US dollars from a Thai bank’s ATM network. The theft is considered linked with the one in Taiwan a couple of days ago, when a group of foreigners, mostly from East European countries, hacked into cash machines using roughly the same method and misappropriating $2.5 million.
In Taiwan, three foreigners have been detained in connection with the heist: a Latvian, a Romanian and a Moldovan citizen, but most of the gang responsible managed to leave the island country and presumably travel to Thailand.
In the Kingdom, the carders stole at least 12 million baht (more than 460.000 US dollars) from the ATMs of Thailand’s state-run Government Savings Bank in late July, using malware-infected credit cards which they inserted in ATMs.
“As of now the evidence we have found makes us confident that this group is linked to the gang who committed a similar robbery in Taiwan. Investigators believe their identity is Eastern European though we are investigating whether any Thais were involved,” Police General Panya Mamen told reporters, adding that the Police is looking for at least five individuals.
The alert was issued by police officials after the GSB announced them of the hack. More than 20 ATMs were hacked and some of them lost up to a million baht at a time, but the bank didn’t notice funds disappearing right away. The number of ATMs may be larger.
The Police also issued a warning to Thai people, asking them to report on suspicious people who spend long periods of time in front of ATMs, mostly at night, since that is the pattern on which the gang is thought to be operating. In Taiwan, those arrested in connection with the hacks said their gang consisted of about 30 eastern Europeans who were working on ATMs in many areas.