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01 July 2009, 10:14

Cash machine cracking presentation cancelled

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Hacking into automated teller machines was to be the subject of the presentation, "Jackpotting Automated Teller Machines", planned for delivery at the coming Black Hat Conference. Because of the intervention by an unnamed maker of ATMs, however, Juniper Networks has withdrawn the presentation by its employee, Barnaby Jack.

The vulnerability in the ATMs is said to be have "far reaching consequences" according to Juniper, so it has been postponed to give the manufacturer a chance to fix the problems before the details are made public. In its company blog, Juniper Networks writes that other manufacturers are also affected by the problem.

Barnaby Jack had intended to follow his presentation at the Black Hat Conference with a live hack of an ATM and actually draw cash. Doubts about the security of ATMs recently increased with reports of cases of viruses infecting Diebold equipment.

The withdrawal of presentations is nothing new for Black Hat Conferences; in mid-2008, Apple prevented a presentation about vulnerabilities in FileVault and a presentation on RFID was cancelled in early 2007 because of alleged patent infringements. But the biggest stir was caused by Cisco's attempt to stop a presentation by Michael Lynn on security vulnerabilities in the IOS router operating system. Lynn did give his presentation, but later had to delete all his presentation materials.


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