ATM hackers rob Thai bank of $469k

BANGKOK • A gang of foreign criminals stole millions of baht by hacking a Thai bank's ATM network in a theft believed linked to a similar one in Taiwan, police said yesterday.

The hackers made off with at least 12 million baht (S$469,000) by inserting cards installed with malware into cash machines run by Thailand's state-run Government Savings Bank (GSB) last month.

The theft came shortly after Taiwan announced that a group of foreigners had stolen US$2.5 million (S$3.4 million) from cash machines using a similar method.

A Latvian, a Romanian and a Moldovan were arrested over the Taiwan heist but a number of suspects - including five Russians - managed to flee abroad.

Police in Bangkok yesterday announced that GSB had alerted them to a similar hack in what they said was a first for Thailand. "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," Police General Panya Mamen told reporters. At least five foreign suspects travelled from Taiwan to Thailand to carry out the theft, he said.

"Investigators believe (they are) Eastern European, though we are investigating whether any Thais were involved," Gen Panya said, adding that those five had likely left Thailand.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2016, with the headline 'ATM hackers rob Thai bank of $469k'. Print Edition | Subscribe