Morning Brief 9.25.19: North Korea ramps up attacks on ATMs, cards

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North Korean ATM attacks

North Korea's dictatorship often uses financial crime and hacking to fund workarounds for western sanctions, a strategy that appears to be ramping up with a new form of ATM and card malware.

The attack strain, called ATMDtrack, reads and stores card data as the cards are inserted into ATMs, reports Ars Technica. The attackers began targeting ATMs in India last year and have moved on to other financial institutions and research centers. The malware is also believed to be tied to another remote access trojan called Dtrack that's used for spying.

Ars Technica based its reporting on Kaspersky Labs research, which also reports the new hacks can be traced to the DarkSeoul campaign, which was part of the Lazarus attacks on Swift network banks and ATMs about three years ago.

A Lyft for transit

Lyft is more closely tying non-automotive options such as scooters, bike sharing and mass transit to its core ride-sharing app, launching a new design that lists these options as distinct tabs rather an unnamed list of "other options."

The move is a step toward Lyft supporting transit ticketing, reports The Verge, noting rival Uber has more closely tied itself to transit payments in the past year.

Lyft will also be able to take advantage of the general trend in the U.S. and elsewhere to open transit ticketing and payments to mobile wallets and contactless payments.

French flagship

London fintech myPOS has opened a store in Paris to sell its tablet-based payment and retailer technology and to bolster its presence in France.

The company is a European rival to Square and PayPal's iZettle, which are both expanding their businesses in the region. It sells terminals for between about $50 and $400, depending on the function, and a multi-currency account for real-time settlement.

myPOS reports it has more than 80,000 clients, and attributes that network to its flagship stores, which it says establish a physical brand in its market. It also has stores in London, Amsterdam, Sofia, Milan and Barcelona.

IoT inflates

Fresh off a pilot in Austin, Helium is adding more than 260 cities to its service, which uses alternative currency payments to fund internet of things (IoT) device management.

IoT companies, like e-scooter producers or pet trackers, use Helium to receive low cost data that helps the business by spotting locations of devices in use and access the data from those devices, Coindesk explains. The companies use tokens to pay to access the data, which goes toward fueling the network.

New York, San Francisco, Boulder, Atlanta, Denver and Seattle are among the new cities in Helium's network.

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