This attack was highly coordinated. Someone hacked into RBS's computers and stole account numbers and removed the withdrawl limits from the accounts. They created fake ATM cards with these account numbers. And then at one, coordinated time - withdrew $9 million from ATMs around the world.
These were no dummies.
Data Breach Led to Multi-Million Dollar ATM Heists
A nationwide ATM heist late last year netted thieves $9 million in cash in one day, according to published reports. The coordinated attack stemmed from a computer intrusion at payment processor RBS WorldPay.
Atlanta-based RBS WorldPay announced on Dec. 23 that hackers had broken into its database and made off with personal and financial data on 1.5 million customers of its payroll cards business. Some companies use payroll cards in lieu of paychecks by depositing employee salaries or hourly wages directly into payroll card accounts, which can then be used as debit cards at ATMs. RBS said that thieves also might also have accessed Social Security numbers of 1.1 million customers.
New York's Fox 5 cites FBI sources as saying that thieves used the stolen payroll cards recently to withdraw $9 million from ATMs from 49 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Montreal, Moscow, and Hong Kong.