Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New twist in the card-skimming saga

Utah police investigators said crooks have installed electronic "skimming" devices at 180 gas stations from Salt Lake to Provo in an attempt to steal bank card and pin numbers. The skimming device is actually located inside the gas pump. Card skimming has been on the rise during the past year, with most attackers rigging or replacing merchant card readers with their own sniffer devices or ATM machines. The devices typically include a scanner, transmitter, camera, and, most recently, Bluetooth or wireless-enabled links that shoot the stolen data back to the bad guys.

Here's the problem: Two gas pump manufacturers supply most pumps nationwide and issue universal keys for those pumps. Criminals can break into virtually any pump with one copied universal key. Once they break into the pump, criminals install a false keypad that records, or "skims," your card information. The crooks then remotely access that data with Bluetooth technology and start withdrawing money from your account. Maverik gas-stations have rekeyed all their pumps with a unique key at each store, to prevent skimming. This should be adopted everywhere, and soon.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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