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Researcher Discovers ATM Hack, Gets Silenced 229

Posted by kdawson
from the wait-wait-not-yet dept.
Al writes "A researcher working for networking company Juniper has been forced to cancel a Black Hat presentation that would have revealed a way to hack into ATMs. The presentation focused on exploiting vulnerabilities in devices running the Windows CE operating system, including some ATMs. The decision to cancel was made to give the vendor concerned time to patch the problem, although the company was notified 8 months ago. The article mentions a growing trend in ATM hacking: In November 2008 thieves stole nearly $9 million from more than 130 cash machines in 49 cities worldwide. And earlier this year, the second biggest maker of ATMs, Diebold, warned customers in an advisory that certain cash machines in Eastern Europe had been loaded with malicious software capable of stealing financial information and the secret PINs from customers performing ATM transactions."
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Researcher Discovers ATM Hack, Gets Silenced

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  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:04AM (#28650055)

    ...it must be pretty abstract, since an "automated teller machine machine" is apparently running in emulation anyhow.

  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:04AM (#28650065)

    So they've had 8 months warning, and now suddenly when researchers want to publish they now want time to fix it? Not indicative of a company that gives a flying fuck about security. They don't deserve time.

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:15AM (#28650249)

      No, they don't... but it depends on the hack.

      If it gives out free money, only harming the company which didn't seem to care, then no, don't give them any more time.

      If the hack gives them access to innocent people's account details, and they'd be out money, and/or time fighting the bogus withdrawals, then yes, give them time to fix it.

      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Svartalf (2997) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:28AM (#28650467) Homepage

        Actually, they HAD time to fix it. It still is highly problematic- but the big problem with all this thinking that bars people from disclosing this stuff at the stage it's at right now is the highly flawed thinking that disclosing a vulnerability discloses it to potential attackers which will use it.

        It's a bad thing to think the bad guys don't already know what you're showing off and presume that they're not doing it. Depending on the hack, they may be prepping for it or already screwing you over with it and you just don't know it yet. If a white/grey hat found it, I can assure you a black hat either has already found it or will shortly.

        • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

          by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary.yahoo@com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:44AM (#28650697) Journal

          You've made the classic mistake of assuming corporations have any motivation to do the right thing, as opposed to the profitable thing. They don't give a rat's ass who is using this hack. All they care about is the price of their shares. If keeping a dangerous vulnerability semi-secret for a few more months will help their share price, they don't really care how many people get screwed over. Think of it this way: if their ATMs were electrocuting people at random, they would do a cost benefit analysis to figure out the likely damages awarded at trials, and compare that to the cost of fixing the problem. If fixing the problem were more expensive, the company would happily go on killing people. You think they care about your freaking finances?

          • Maybe in some regards, but the electrocuting ATM isn't a great example.

            There exist numerous product safety laws that could affect the criminal culpability of decision makers in a company who refuse to address serious known safety concerns in their products.

          • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

            by sam0vi (985269) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:53PM (#28651563)

            What i think this guy should do is to publish the name of the problematic bank and/or ATM vendor, and give their users a month to withdraw all of their assets from that bank (since they clearly don't care about their customers' finances) and move to another one (of their own choosing). I'm sure as hell they would fix the problem ipso facto. My 2 cents.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sjames (1099)

            The one and only thing that makes them fix it is the near certain knowledge that the vulnerability will be exposed far and wide after a deadline. It is reasonable to give an extension if it's really a hard problem to solve, but they must feel nearly certain that the problem will come out in public.

            I do agree that it's not a good idea to assume that only the good guys know about the vulnerability.

      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poetmatt (793785) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:30AM (#28650493) Journal

        Companies only move upon losses and public fiascos. Politeness should be gone by 8 months. Honestly, "this can slash your profits to 0 or below" doesn't sound like a cause for concern?

        I'm sure departments within the company can make that same argument for losses but those are harder to take care of than simple software fixes that people are nice enough to be willing to tell them what the issue is. I mean how much easier can you get than someone else doing the job for you, that you didn't do originally? etc etc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by siloko (1133863)
          You got it. The OP was right they don't give a fuck about security, what they give a fuck about is profits and a hullabaloo about folk losing cash as a result of compromised machines WILL effect their bottom line so each and every comment makes a difference. However it doesn't change the system that rewards secrecy over competence.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by qwijibo (101731)

          You're making the assumption that it's a simple software fix. There isn't always someone who knows the software, understands the problem and can figure out how to resolve it in the code.

          A lot of companies hire the cheapest people they can to implement ill-defined code which is duct taped together and released as a product. Once the product is released, all of the expensive ($10/hr) programmers are fired and the product is supported by a group of people who have a script to follow and get paid $2/hr. Once

      • If it gives access to innocent people's accounts, then it should be released sooner, destroying the companies reputation, forcing the company to fix the issue in customer reimbursements after losing half of their customer base, to send them under. Sadly, customers would be forced to leave the banks, not the diebold machines, which supply all banks in certain regions.
    • by mcgrew (92797)

      We're talking Diebold here, why are you surprised?

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

      by furby076 (1461805) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:22AM (#28650373) Homepage
      You're right they don't deserve it - but giving information to criminals to make it easier for them to steal - thus hurting society as a whole - is not the answer. Unfortunately the security of ATM's is greater then these researches desire to present their work.
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:30AM (#28650495) Homepage

        You're right they don't deserve it - but giving information to criminals to make it easier for them to steal - thus hurting society as a whole - is not the answer. Unfortunately the security of ATM's is greater then these researches desire to present their work.

        Releasing the hole does not hurt society, however, it does hurt Diebold customers and partners.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by furby076 (1461805)

          Releasing the hole does not hurt society, however, it does hurt Diebold customers and partners.

          1) Diebold customers/partners did not cause this issue
          2) If you use an ATM you are a diebold customer
          3) Diebold will pass the cost to companies which use ATMs and they will pass the cost to you
          4) It does hurt society as a whole to enable criminals. Just because you are not directly effected does not make you immune to the effects.

          • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Hizonner (38491) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:18PM (#28651189)
            1. Diebold (or whoever; I don't know that it's Diebold) customers/partners are primarily banks, which are supposed to be in the business of worrying about securing money. It's negligent for a bank to buy a product without verifying its security. So, yes, they did in some sense cause the problem, or at least they bear a chunk of the blame for it.
            2. If I use an ATM, I am a customer of Diebold's (or whoever's) customer, the bank, not a customer of Diebold. And what I'm paying the bank to do is to secure my transactions. I will admit that I've obviously hired an incompetent bank and am perhaps at fault for doing so, but that doesn't excuse the bank's incompetence. And I think my fault is reduced by the unavailability of banks that actually do their jobs, whereas banks would have access to decent ATMs if it they bothered to demand them.
            3. Where do people get this nonsense? Diebold (or whoever) already charges as much for the ATMs as it can get away with. They don't set prices based on their costs; they set prices based on what customers willl pay, subject only to the proviso that if customers won't pay what it costs to make the product, they won't make the product at all. To a first approximation, in a properly functioning market with competition (and there is competition in ATMs), prices fall to approach marginal cost of production (for the most efficient producer). This doesn't increase marginal cost of production for anybody.
            4. Maybe, except that it's NON-disclosure that actually enables the criminals, and that goes beyond this particular bug and beyond the case of ATMs. Not only does non-disclosure enable ATM manufacturers and whoever else to continue to ignore the problem while the criminals continue to exploit it, but, by ecouraging other companies in similar situations to do the same, it guarantees further problems. To prevent companies in general from ignoring problems, there needs to be a credible threat of disclosure if there isn't prompt action on reported problems. 8 months is way, way more than enough time. In order to maintain the credibility of the threat of disclosure, there needs to actually BE disclosure once in a while, so that companies know they actually have to live up to their responsibilities.
          • by u38cg (607297)
            With reference to number four, yes, disclosure hurts. It does not hurt as much as a live exploit that nobody fixes because it has not been publicly disclosed. Ask anybody who had their UK bank account lightened in the 1980s. Criminals are very effective consumers of security exploits, and they are very often ahead of the game.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MightyYar (622222)

          Releasing the hole does not hurt society, however, it does hurt Diebold customers and partners.

          I'd have to know more details. The manufacturer is not the one who will feel the direct repercussions of this hack - the ATM owners will. It might have been more effective for the researcher to inform some of the larger customers rather than the company. I'd bet that a big bank leaning on Diebold would have been more effective than this researcher disclosing a secret exploit.

        • And anyone who is unfortunate enough to have a bank with a diebold machine, depending on the nature of the exploit...
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arose (644256) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:40AM (#28650635)

        Current situation: society as a whole does not know the vulnerability or it's scope, criminals might or might not know the vulnerability and might or might not be actively exploiting it.

        Full disclosure:anyone with enough brains and guts can exploit the vulnerability, society at large can take steps to minimize the risk since it is now known what exactly the risk is.

        • by furby076 (1461805)

          Current situation: society as a whole does not know the vulnerability or it's scope, criminals might or might not know the vulnerability and might or might not be actively exploiting it. Full disclosure:anyone with enough brains and guts can exploit the vulnerability, society at large can take steps to minimize the risk since it is now known what exactly the risk is.

          Society as a whole does not know of the vulnerability. You are correct. Full disclosure of the vulnerability will allow those who have the desire/means to exploit it. No it won't be as easy as walking into a 7-11 with a shotgun, but there are plenty of computer geeks who would exploit such a loophole to make some cash.

          Since we can't setup a security guard/cop by every ATm unit 24/7 until a patch is released criminals will be able to rob the machine...as simple as going to the unit at 4 Am with a ski ma

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nthitz (840462)
      Agreed, 8 months is long enough. If they haven't fixed it by now, they certainly need some incentive to!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joelmax (1445613)
      I agree the ATM manufacturer doesn't deserve time, but the consumer does. How would you like it if someone stole your account info on a hacked atm and pillaged your bank accounts and credit card info?? Not too good I'll bet. For the sake of protecting the consumer, this should be withheld.
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Interesting)

        by compro01 (777531) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:44AM (#28650705)

        Being as the exploit is already in the fucking wild and being actively exploited, preventing the information from being presented is completely and totally pointless.

        • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Talderas (1212466) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:50AM (#28650797)

          Not really. Despite the exploit being out there, there is likely only a few malicious people that know about it. If the hack requires physical access to the machine, this means the number of machines that are exploited is less. As other people have mentioned.... once the exploit is significantly more public, that will increase the number of malicious people that know about it and increases the number of exploited machines.

          There's a lot of people who can apply exploits. There aren't as many that can discover them.

          • by Nikker (749551)

            Your a fucking idiot. This is a computer exploit it's not like they have to be actively standing in front of the machine after each use. Once it gets hacked any person who walks up to it is giving their information to both their bank as well as the person who hacked the box. Your information may be next. The only thing that prolonging the disclosure does is keep those who do know in a captive market making money off me and you. If it does get out then banks will eventually lose more to insurance claims

            • by Talderas (1212466)

              Your a fucking idiot.

              I'll use it right back at you. I'll say "You're a fucking idiot."

              I never claimed that you have to be right there after each ATM usage. That would be ludicrous and insane. I was stating that if the hack required physical access, you gain physical access, implement the hack and reap the benefits.

              As such, if people who know the hack lives in Salt Lake City, ATMs in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle, then ATMs in those cities and nearby are only at risk. ATMs in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and many

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Nikker (749551)
                I would like to apologize for being an asshole, I did go over the top. The reason I feel concerned is the element of scale. The only difficult part is figuring out the vulnerability once that is done they can out source because the money is there. There may not be a planet of computer elites with the ability to take advantage of this or any exploit for that matter but if the money is there to be made especially in the millions of dollars there is incentive to perfect the process. With that kind of money
      • by neomunk (913773)

        The argument being made isn't that people should get hacked, so this should be released. The argument being made is that by withholding this information corporate complacency will allow whoever is ALREADY using this exploit to continue to do so (as it has for the past 8 months). Your argument falls down from the point of view that releasing the information will force the company to promptly issue a fix for the vulnerability. In fact, your point of view is only valid if the company cannot or will not patc

    • Do you have any idea what the QA procedure would be for a release of baking software?

      The QA cycle on it alone would be 6-12 months. Then you would need 6-12 months to roll it out to all the ATMs globally.

      • Baking software? Really? For cookies? Or pizza?

        Man, I didn't think that setting a temperature and a time was that hard.
    • I reckon time is exactly what they deserve, I'm sure we could make room next door to Mahdof. Perhaps they will discover the alternate meaning of ATM first hand while there, as taught by the ever present Big Bubba and colleagues.

      Oh, wait....you meant time to fix the problem. My bad ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The vendor in question is likely Microsoft:

      "The presentation focused on exploiting vulnerabilities in devices running the Windows CE operating system, including some ATMs. The decision to cancel was made to give the vendor concerned time to patch the problem, although the company was notified 8 months ago."

      My guess is that Microsoft is not excited about fixing bugs in CE, and would rather just extend their "security through obscurity" strategy to include censoring researchers.
    • Lets jump to a conclusion that it is an easy to fix problem.
      And creating and deploying this would be cake.
      They may have the fix but have to manually go to the systems to fix them.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      I say he gives the companies a deadline when he'll publicize the hack. Put the ball in their court.
  • by mspohr (589790) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:07AM (#28650115)
    I can't believe that people use WinCE for a real world application that requires security and reliability. The morons who built these systems are reaping the reward for their ignorance.
    • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:11AM (#28650193)

      I can't believe that people use WinCE for a real world application that requires security and reliability. The morons who built these systems are reaping the reward for their ignorance.

      A lot of ATM's were previously running IBM OS/2 and were pretty stable. Not only are these ATMs now exploitable but they are also much slower than before they were "upgraded" to WinCE.

      Upgrades are supposed to improve functionality or improve performance but the text UI actually got about 2X slower to respond.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:29AM (#28650479)

        They are now much easier for the disabled to use. While it was possible for someone who was blind to use an OS/2 ATM, it relied more or less on memorizing what to do. The buttons had braille on them but there wasn't really any feed back other than beeps. So it was a situation of memorize the key presses to do what you want. New ATMs have headphone jacks and can give audio feedback, allowing those with vision problems to use them much easier.

        • Seems to me that that type of functionality could have been added to the OS/2 versions. Was it really necessary to completely replace the OS to get that type of functionality? I know that IBM gave up on supporting OS/2 but couldn't an experienced programmer do this without IBM's help?

          • That's not what he means.

            To get the headphone jack upgrades, they needed new ATMs. Retrofitting old ones would have been very costly in terms of manpower.

            OS/2 does not run on those new ATMs.

        • by Jaysyn (203771)

          Headphone jacks are hardware, not software. You don't really think that OS/2 is incapable of sound, do you?

          • by Nimey (114278)

            New post-OS/2 ATMs have the headphone jacks. To put OS/2 on new hardware would be non-trivial.

          • OS/2 v 1.1? Ya, might well be. It was incapable of graphics, I don't know that it would be capable of sound either. This wasn't even a new OS/2 they were running, it was an extremely old version, even by OS/2 standards.

        • Pretty much the only reason I trust an ATM is that I can visually verify that it gave me the right quantity and denominations of cash, and/or it printed out a deposit receipt. If I was blind I wouldn't want to use the fracking things, I'd go to a teller I trusted.
      • It's an ATM.

        It reads a card, checks your balance and pokes money out a slot.

        What increased functionality is there?

        (well, yes, it takes in deposits, too, but...)

        Really, why aren't these things running the most limited OS possible?
        Running WinXP on them is just silly. I would have thought WinCE would
        be more locked down, but apparently not.

        The comment about OS/2 machines being more secure is interesting.
        I'd rather have IBM running my cash machines than Microsoft.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Lumpy (12016)

          New from microsoft.

          Windows 7 ATM edition. now with richer multimedia and features! giveyour customers access to a media center while they wait for their money!

          Dont laugh, Somewhere a manager in microsoft though of this and pitched it.

        • What increased functionality is there?

          Bill payments & Pre-pay phone top-ups. Although in theory all they would need to be is additional UI options, because the actual processing would be taken care of at the server.

      • by Afty0r (263037)

        Upgrades are supposed to improve functionality or improve performance but the text UI actually got about 2X slower to respond.

        A large number of upgrades/changes in infrastructure & platform are actually driven with the primary goal of decreasing cost base.

        This is especially true in a poor economy, such as right now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jonwil (467024)

        One big reason to update from OS/2 to Windows is that its a lot easier to add new functionality to the Windows version of the ATM software than it is to add new functionality to the older OS/2 ATM software.

        Examples of new functionality ATM operators may want or need to add:
        1.Advertising (for loans, credit cards etc) whilst the ATM talks to all the computers and you wait for your money to come out
        2.Prepaid credit vouchers of various kinds (e.g. for prepaid mobile phones)
        3.Changes in the law (this last one ha

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)

      I agree, they should have kept using OS/2 [wikipedia.org].

    • . . . from TFA:

      The operating system used in the affected system, Windows CE, poses hurdles to a quick fix. Microsoft recommends that Windows CE is used for "low-end cash-dispensing ATMs," while Windows XP Embedded and Windows XP Professional are used on more full-featured ATMs, according to a white paper on kiosk and ATM operating-system platforms issued by the software maker. Windows XP Embedded, the latest version of which is Windows Embedded Standard 2009, and Windows XP Professional are more secure because they are easier to update, the software giant says.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Ray (88211)

      Uh, no. Now WE'RE reaping the reward for their ignorance.

  • Release it anyway (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:10AM (#28650183) Journal

    You don't need a conference to publicize a security problem. Post it on the internet, and the vendor will have plenty of incentive to implement a fix immediately.

    • by netruner (588721)
      Isn't this what Wikileaks was made for?
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Step 1) Develop fix...duration days to months
      Step 2) Test fix in test environment to make sure it doesn't cause other problems....duration days to months
      Step 3) Implement fix in all ATM's....duration weeks to months

      In the meantime criminals are stealing billions of dollars over the course of that time. It's easy to say "boo who sucks to be you" but allowing criminals to steal is abhorant. Even if the money stolen does not affect the consumer pocket-book in the end the cost of this will trickle down t
      • by AndersOSU (873247) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:57AM (#28650913)

        You don't think these ATMs will stay up if an exploit is published do you?

        The sequence of events goes something like this:
        Bank buys shitty ATMs
        Exploits are developed
        People start stealing from ATMs
        Someone gives the ATM manufacturer the exploit and tells them to fix their problem
        People continue to steal from ATMs
        Someone (publicly) threatens to publish
        ATM company says, "hold on give us a minute to fix it"
        People continue stealing from ATMs

        scenario A
        ATM company fixes the problem
        Banks and consumers never know their assets were exposed

        scenario b
        ATM company stalls
        people continue to steal from ATMs
        someone publishes
        a whole lot of money is suddenly stolen in a very short time period
        Banks shut down all vulnerable ATMs
        Customers notice their ATMs don't work - maybe ask questions
        Banks sue ATM manufacturer, become a little more careful about who they do business with in the future

      • by Hatta (162192) *

        They've had 8 months to fix their ATMs. For all we know now criminals have been stealing billions of dollars over that time. The responsible thing for this company to do is to shut down every affected ATM now until a fix is applied. They haven't done so, and clearly need a greater incentive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tony Stark (1391845)
      That's right. IMHO, the reason some companies, such as in this case, suddenly decide to fix something after 8 months is because they are about to lose face. I think it must be a vulnerability that allows the hacker to obtain sensitive information about innocent people, as opposed to the company losing money directly. If the company was losing money, it would've been fixed 8 months ago. However, once it comes out that the company knew about it for 8 months and hasn't fixed it, the company will lose face
  • by mandark1967 (630856) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:13AM (#28650225) Homepage Journal

    Everytime I see "ATM" these days I think "Anal to Mouth".

    I need to stop surfing the Diabolic site....

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AnalPerfume (1356177)
      Actually ATM (Ass To Mouth) kinda sums up the capitalist system quite well; you have to be fucked in the ass by the corporations to earn money to put food in your mouth. Only the few at the top do the actual fucking. Perhaps naming the machine that you rely on to give you your reward for being an obedient gimp an ATM is another way of giving them a chuckle. Who cares if the ATM's are hacked? The rules they paid their politicians to introduce will ensure the little guy always pays, and the rich never use ATM
    • And everytime someone says "ATM machine" I think "Ass to mouth machine" and think about one might look like.

  • If we estimate that world wide, only 8 million dollars was stolen out of ALL of the ATMs that are out there, I would think that that's actually a success, more than a liability.

    I mean, people steal more than that in cars, in what, every few hours?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)

      I'm pretty sure the proper /. unit for theft/time is the Madoff. Guessing that he stole about 25 billion dollars over 30 years (this is just an off the cuff estimate, the actual value of the Madoff may vary), 9 million dollars per month (I think that's what the summary says) is a rate of about 0.13 Madoffs.

    • But that cost is distributed amongst the the car owners who don't band together for any sort of power as compared with Banks. If, instead, people stole that much in cars straight from dealerships...

  • No surprise here... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:24AM (#28650403) Homepage

    It is quite unsurprising, really. We see the same thing going on in the SCADA security space. The book, Hacking Scada: Industrial Network Security From the Mind of the Attacker [hackingscada.com] , has been held up for at least a year past it's original planned publication date for similar thinking.

  • so diebold's ATMs are as good as their voting machines!

  • ... I know in my heart that John Conner is to blame. Or at least his mom, for teaching him how to hack ATMs. What I don't understand is this: why did John Conner only withdraw 3 dollars?
  • Hiding security holes doesn't mean they aren't there. Everyone knows that a bank has a fairly obvious security hole - most people would rather hand the money over vs. getting shot, so bank robbers tend to burst in guns blazing and then make off with tons of cash. Since that's public knowledge, it's easier to defend against such tactics. Hiding that would make both the bank and its customers more susceptible to gun-toting robber attacks, since they would be unprepared for the unknown.

  • by RyoShin (610051) <tukaroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:33AM (#28650537) Homepage Journal

    It's unfortunately not too odd to hear that ATMs run Windows (especially with some of the error messages I've seen). But there are even odder devices running Windows.

    I work at a somewhat-hated international retailing chain that will go unnamed, and while working there the other night my merchandise scanner, one of the portable hand-held ones used on the floor, froze. Not uncommon, but when I reset it it booted into Windows CE. A normal windows desktop. I tried starting Windows Media Player, but it wouldn't do anything. The funny thing is that when it works properly, it uses minimal ASCII art and no graphics at all.

    Why these kind of things need to use Windows is beyond me. Windows, security issues aside, is alright for general purpose machines, but not highly-specialized machines like a scanner or ATM.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:00PM (#28650953) Homepage Journal
      Why these kind of things need to use Windows is beyond me. Windows, security issues aside, is alright for general purpose machines, but not highly-specialized machines like a scanner or ATM.

      Sir, you are confusing Desktop Windows with Embedded Windows. While the source base is starting to be shared, their targets and goals are substantially different. Windows CE IS meant to be highly-specialized for highly-specialized machines. You don't even have to build in graphical output. I've seen usable CE images take up ~2MB of memory total.
      • by RyoShin (610051)

        Thanks for the info. I thought Windows CE was something like a streamlined Windows Mobile OS. :)

    • by PPH (736903)

      Why these kind of things need to use Windows is beyond me. Windows, security issues aside, is alright for general purpose machines, but not highly-specialized machines like a scanner or ATM.

      Because Microsoft makes it very easy to build apps on a Windows desktop, using Microsoft tools and then move the executable onto another Windows platform. Sure, its possible to develop in a Windows environment for some other target O/S. But it takes extra steps.

      Many s/w shops look at app development from the programmers point of view rather than the end user. If the tools and development processes have kewl features ad are cheap, great. If the user or admins have to suffer, well that's not their problem (a

  • by 2gravey (959785) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:40AM (#28650623)
    For those of you who aren't aware, the Black Hat tradition for vulnerability presentations which have been similarly blocked due to court orders, etc. is to offer BH a replacement safe/bland presentation and then deliver the banned exploit demonstration regardless. This action typically results in a large lawsuit against the researcher's employer, subsequent termination of the researcher, and a short-lived rock star notoriety for the researcher making the afore mentioned termination totally worth it.
  • Not forced! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Friday July 10, 2009 @11:45AM (#28650721)

    The article is transparent in saying that he chose to cancel his own presentation on his own volition, because it hadn't been fixed yet.

    • by RoboRay (735839)

      Sensationalist yet completely false headlines? What else do you expect from kdawson?

  • How it works. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mbarkhau (1137557) on Friday July 10, 2009 @12:44PM (#28651483)
    I only read this on another forum so take with a grain of salt.

    The hack is based on the assumption that if you make a withdrawal from an ATM and don't take the money you forgot to take it, so the machine takes the money back and refunds the amount to your account.

    The thing is that the machine doesn't have a way to count how much bills it takes back, so you can just take the bills from the middle and you will get a full refund.

    Supposedly this also works if you take the money right before the ATM pulls back in the money.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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