Daily Video

May 13, 2013

Cyber Thieves Steal $45 Million

Watch Cyber ATM Robbers Grab $45 Million Worldwide Within Hours on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

In a story that could be the plot in a Hollywood thriller, a network of cyber thieves in 27 countries around the world managed to steal $45 million from ATMs in broad daylight and without disguises.

The criminals hacked into the computers of companies that process prepaid debit cards, stole the data and then copied it onto doctored cards with magnetic strips.

They then went to various ATMs, withdrawing as much money as they could before the accounts were shut down.

The theft took place on two different days. On Dec. 21, 2012 thieves hit 4,500 ATMs in 20 counties to steal $5 million, then on Feb. 19 they took another $40 million in 36,000 transactions.

Authorities are still unsure who is behind the attacks.


Quote

“This was a 21st century bank heist that reached through the Internet to span the globe,” – U.S. Attourney Loretta Lynch, Eastern District of New York.

Warm up questions

1. What are some crimes that can be committed using computers?

2. How has the internet changed crime and crime fighting?

Discussion questions

1. What did you think was the most interesting part of this video?

2. Why do you think authorities can’t figure out who the thieves are?

3. Why do you think the banks did not notice the crime earlier?

4. How could law enforcement officials go about investigating a crime that is so wide-reaching and took place in so many countries?

5. Do you think rapidly changing technology favors criminals or law enforcement?

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