The European ATM Security Team (EAST) reports that it has discovered a new mini-ATM skimmer. While traditional skimmers are made to sit on top of ATM card slots and record card numbers, this new skimmer fits inside the card reader’s throat. Although only one of EAST ‘s member countries has spotted the mini-skimmer, it is an insidious reminder that criminal technology is evolving as fast as security technology, and can affect your Canadian merchant account.
With the exception of its size, the mini-skimming device works like traditional skimming devices that use small cameras and magnetic strip readers to capture consumer card numbers and PIN numbers. EAST believes that the information stolen by the mini-skimmers will be sent to America where it will be used to create fraudulent credit/debit cards, as the U.S. has yet to fully implement the EMV chip-and-PIN security standard. Many card issuers and American citizens still use credit/debit cards with magnetic strips. These magnetic strips are much easier to recreate than the new EMV chip cards.
The mini-skimmer is the latest new technological effort to commit fraud across the globe. ATM card skimming ranked high on the list of bank concerns in 2013, according to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. An ATM filled with money is still a big draw for criminals, despite the risk of being discovered or captured. Skimming has become the leading way that criminals steal the sensitive financial data of consumers across the world. Each ATM skimming attack costs the affected bank $50,000 in losses.
Now ATM security coalitions are fighting back. ATM manufacturer rivals, Wincor Nixdorf and Diebold, have created an ATM security association that will provide information on how to avoid skimming attacks. They will also promote a variety of technologies used currently by banks across the world to prevent skimming. One piece of technology is a video camera with behavioral analytics that alerts authorities if a person is standing in front of an ATM for a period of time.
American merchant accounts are not the only ones threatened by the new ATM skimmers. Canadian merchant accounts are also vulnerable as reports of recent credit card breaches, despite early EMV implementation are now surfacing. Experts note that consumers must be active participants in stopping fraud. To decrease the risk of fraud, consumers must be extremely protective of their credit card information and monitor their finances on an annual basis.
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