Bitcoin ATM users in Canada were hit with one of the most brazen scams in their history recently when a notice appeared on Bitcoin ATMs in Winnipeg stating that the machine was out of order due to “development of new software” and giving a list of instructions which ultimately sent any BTC purchased at the machine to the scammer’s wallet. Police say no individuals fell for the plot and only two of the city’s machines were affected, but it shows that hackers are getting bolder in their attempts to get someone else’s Bitcoin.
— CTV News Winnipeg (@ctvwinnipeg) August 29, 2019
This particular scam saw the two machines fixed with notices stating that due to the ongoing software development, buying BTC using the existing on-screen instructions would fail and instead offered a 13-point list of instructions for using the machine, all of which is identical to the regular process except once the Bitcoin has been purchased it had to be sent to a QR code posted at the foot of the notice. It has to be hoped that anyone savvy enough to use a Bitcoin machine in the first place wouldn’t fall for such an obvious trick, which thankfully no one did. Police have not yet identified anyone responsible for the acts.
Bitcoin ATMs Targeted Again
Bitcoin ATM hacking is nothing new, although attempts are normally more sophisticated. Canada has already seen a major Bitcoin ATM-related criminal enterprise when four men carried out a number of double-spend attacks on Bitcoin ATMs, one of which was in Winnipeg, which saw them steal $146,000 worth of BTC. Last year it was revealed that malware that could help steal money from a Bitcoin ATM was for sale on the dark web, while just a few weeks ago Spanish police intercepted a money laundering operation using Bitcoin ATMs. No doubt such attacks will increase while the technology is still new, much as with early slot machines that could be fooled with home-made devices, but as time passes it will be harder and harder to use such machines for nefarious activities, or hack into them.