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Security researcher discovers ATM scam
March 8, 2017
Every once in a while, crooks try to rip off the wrong person. Benjamin Tedesco, a Technical Services Consultant at Carbon Black, was on vacation with his family in Vienna, Austria when his natural instincts paid off big time ... and he caught the whole thing on camera, according to his article on Linkedin.
Tedesco, is always cautious when he uses an ATM. In his line of work at Carbon Black, a company that specializes in security software, he's become familiar with many security risks.
While getting money from the ATM, he noticed what appeared to be glue along the edges of the credit card slot. So he tugged on it, and the skimmer popped right off. Watch in the video below to see how easy it is to miss a skimmer crafted by professionals.
The skimmer was an exact replica of the original credit card slot, practically invisible to the naked eye. On the backside of the device Tedesco discovered a magnetic reader, a battery, control board and switch.
"Skimmers are essentially malicious card readers that grab the data off the card's magnetic stripe attached to the real payment terminals ... The thief has to come back to the compromised machine to pick up the file containing all the stolen data, but with that information in hand he can create cloned cards or just break into bank accounts to steal money," according to PC Mag.
Days after publishing his video, Tedesco released an update indicating that the ATM also contained a tiny camera that captured pin numbers in addition to skimming the card information.
PC Mag recommends the following when using your card at gas pumps or ATM's
-Check for obvious signs of tampering. Look near the top of the ATM, the speakers, side of the screen, keyboard and card reader. If something doesn't look right, don't use the machine.
-If the keyboard feels too thick or otherwise off, it may contain a tool to steal your pin.
-Wiggle it. Even if you don't see any thing, take a second to try and move the card reader and the keypad. Feel around the edges. These machines are constructed to be solid, any loose pieces is a sign that they may have been tampered with.
-Cover the keypad with your hand to block anyone (even hidden cameras) from viewing your pin. Skimmers usually can't use your card information without the pin number.
-Use an ATM inside a bank or grocery store, rather than a sidewalk ATM. Criminals are less likely to install an skimmer where they can get caught.