Threat Watch

ATM Wiretapping

The United States Secret Service has recently released a warning to the financial industry due to a recent surge of activity with ATM wiretapping. This type of attack requires the attacker to have physical access to the machine. The attacker will drill a large hole in front of the machine, which will later be covered up by a metal plate or a decal of the bank’s logo. Once the hole is drilled, the attacker will then fish the skimming device through the hole and attach it to the card reader with a magnet. Attackers will use a USB-based endoscope that is connected to his phone to ensure that the skimmer has been successfully attached to the card reader. Once this process is completed, about a day or so later, the attacker will attach a pinhole camera to the machine to capture the victim’s PIN number. The reason why this is attached a day or so later, is because the attacker wants to ensure that no alarms have been set off in the machine. According to the researchers, “In other cases, the thieves may replace the PIN pad security shield on the ATM with a replica that includes a hidden pinhole camera, tucking the camera components behind the cut hole and fishing the camera wiring and battery through the hole drilled in the front of the machine.” Users are advised to be cautious when using ATMs. If the ATM looks like it was altered, or strange, it is recommended to find another machine.