Ripping the faces off ATMs and injecting them with malware is great fun, sure, but not so much when you get caught by a security guard and tossed in jail. For these reasons and more, many cyber criminals are turning to a less than hands-on approach and attacking ATMs remotely instead.
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Australia's 'Big Four' banks have decided to remove the cash withdrawal fee for using their ATMs. This means you will no longer be charged $2 for using a CBA, Westpac, ANZ or NAB ATM with your card, regardless of who you bank with. Or to put it another way, the banks are rorting us slightly less than before.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
A few weeks ago, the Commonwealth Bank updated the onscreen menu on its Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). Presumably, the redesigned interface was implemented in an attempt to make customers' lives easier (and perhaps to garner some good will after that recent ATM money-laundering scandal.)
Unfortunately, the results are a bit of a dog's breakfast. Here's why.
The Commonwealth Bank is facing another scandal as the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) launches civil proceedings accusing the bank of being complicit in money laundering.
This exposes a deeply worrying prospect, that the Australian public are vulnerable to crime and terrorism directly funded through the Australian banking system.
How safe is Microsoft Windows? After all, the list of malware that has caused major headaches worldwide over the last 15 years is long -- viruses, worms and Trojans have forced computers to shut down, knocked South Korea offline and even overloaded Google's servers. Now, how safe do you feel knowing that cash machines across the world run Microsoft Windows?
CBA customers will soon be able to collect cash from ATMs with a few clicks of their CommBank smartphone app. The ‘cardless’ cash service is the first in Australia and will be rolled out via a new app update in May. The app update will also introduce a new 'Lock and Limit' tool to help customers keep their card secure and rein in their spending.
We're all used to being told to cover our hands when using automatic teller machines (ATMs), which prevents rogue cameras from seeing you enter your PIN. Some banks are now taking it a step further, with a rubberised cover over the top of the number pad. I understand the reasoning, but it makes ATMs much more painful to use.
It can happen to anybody: you stick your card into an ATM machine to make a withdrawal, only to be greeted by a strange whirring sound or error message. Congratulations: your card has just been eaten. This is annoying at the best of times, but it can swiftly turn into a disaster if you're overseas or about to enter a long weekend. Here's a quick tip to ensure you'll never be short of cash.
It's always been a good idea to use your bank's own ATM to avoid paying fees. As this infographic demonstrates, with one major operator lifting its fees to $2.50 a time and others expected to follow suit, it's more important than ever.
Close to home, your choice of ATM is likely to be heavily influenced by whether you can use it for free. Overseas, you'll probably get slugged with a fee no matter which machine you use, so you might as well opt for convenience. ATM Hunter helps you find the nearest ATM by entering an address or using your GPS.
Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and Suncorp this week rolled out their joint ATM network of 2,000 machines. The useful upshot? If you're a customer of either bank, you'll get fee-free ATM access at rather more locations, an issue which is clearly dear to the hearts of many Lifehacker readers.
If you've seen warnings about ATM "skimmers"—data-reading devices added onto machines by thieves—you might be wondering how you could tell if one's been rigged up to where you're about to insert your card. The Consumerist blog hosts a PDF copy of a PowerPoint explainer from an Australian security firm. It might not cover what your specific bank's teller machines should look like, but it does point to warning signs to look out for—like the flashing lights on a card feeder being obscured.
Visa's ATM Locator finds and lists ATMs in your area and displays them on a Microsoft Virtual Earth mashup. The site could be a bit more user-friendly, but the results are fast and could come in particularly handy if you're in unfamiliar territory (it covers ATMs globally, as we've mentioned before). Give it a try for your neighborhood and let us know how accurate the results look—or if you're aware of a better alternative—in the comments.ATM Locator