ATM Skimming Is Now Prolific on Payment Terminals and Ticket Machines

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ATM skimming has become an art in recent years, with the devices that crooks use becoming ever more sophisticated. But fraudsters are broadening their reach, with payment terminals and ticket machines now just as much targets as ATMs.

Krebs on Security reports findings from the European ATM Security Team (EAST) which reveals that point-of-sale skimming attacks are becoming the norm. The report points out that at least five countries have reported widespread skimming attacks against transport ticket machines and parking machines.


EAST claims that the new skimming devices used in these point-of-sale attacks typically use Bluetooth to transmit the stolen card and PIN details to the crooks, eliminating the need for the devices to be physically revisited. As ever, the advice is obvious: if anything ever looks suspicious at a terminal where you have to use your card, move on.

Elsewhere in the report, EAST reveals that the practice of skimming is growing most rapidly in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Thailand. The reason? Thieves have been unable to successfully hack the relatively new bank card security standard known casually as "chip-and-PIN", which is now commonplace across Europe and other parts of the world. That's because there's a chip on those cards that contains a secret algorithm to encode payment data, making it more difficult to clone. Clearly, the US has some catching up to do. [EAST via Krebs on Security]