ATM skimmers lift credit and debit card information by attaching to the card slot on the machine, although such modifications have typically been spotted quickly due to their bulky and obvious nature. Over the years, skimmers have become increasingly hard to detect, resulting in mass fraud until the banks fix the affected ATM. The latest generation of ATM skimmers are said to be so thin that they can be inserted directly into a card slot without arousing suspicion.
Recent reports from the European ATM Security Team detail a new skimming device that can be inserted directly into an ATM card reader thanks to its svelte frame. Just like other skimmers, it lifts information from the magnetic strip on the back of a credit or debit card and stores it for later retrieval. Bulky ATM skimmers can be easily avoided, but a device that fits directly into the card reader could be difficult to detect.
Still, such devices need the most crucial piece of information: your PIN. The only way to lift that is by using a secondary device, typically either an overlay on top of the keypad on an ATM or a hidden camera. Cameras may be a little tricky to spot, but any modifications to the keypad should be easier to detect. As always, if something doesn’t seem right about an ATM you’re trying to use, call the bank and try to find another machine.
[via Krebs on Security]