We are all aware of the many scams that include skimmers being placed on ATM machines, that capture you details as you enter your pin number etc.
However a new application for smartphones may just save you from losing cash as it can detect the presence of the skimmer.
Paying for items on a credit/debit card can often lead to people losing money unexpectedly as the crooks stay one step ahead of the law, using sophisticated technology to collate your data at ATMs or when you swipe your card to pay for goods.
Even the experts struggle to tell when a device has been tampered with in many instances.
These scams have been ongoing for over a decade and the powers that be seem to be at a loss when it comes to prevention.
The criminals can now use malware, which is installed from a remote location, which permits them to collect information from your card without them tampering with the ATM. And once the malware is installed, there is no way you can tell.
The hackers work there magic by hacking into a bank’s network. They install their malware, which in turn gives them access to multiple ATM machines and it is all carried out remotely.
The most vulnerable places to get ripped off are at the petrol pumps that offer customers the facility to pay by card at the pumps. The scammers can hit these by pretending to purchase fuel, then return and gather the data using a Bluetooth connection.
Banks have improved security by installing chips into cards but those that rely on swiping a magnetic strip are highly vulnerable to fraud.
However there is hope that an app on your smart phone could assist in letting you know when a rogue skimmer may be in place. Because most skimmers use Bluetooth, the app, which is installed on your mobile, can detect the presence of any Bluetooth device using the “Skimmer Scammer” application.
The company behind the app, worked with police in Colorado, USA, to come up with a possible solution that could save people and banks a lot of cash. In the USA, the hackers frequently use a cheap Bluetooth device that more often than not, shows up as HC-05 and because it is inexpensive and mass produced, the name of the device cannot be altered. Apparently they also have a hard coded password that once again, it cannot be changed. So the very same vulnerability that permits the crooks to steal your hard earned cash, is also the same weakness that can be their undoing.
The app simply looks for Bluetooth connections using the name HC-05 and tries to connect using the default hard coded password. If it succeeds with its connection the letter “P” is displayed and if it is a skimmer, it sends the letter “M” to the app.
The app is available on Google Play and is free to download but users should be aware it will not stop all skimmers and the hackers are expected to change their approach so as not to be caught out by the app.
Preventing hackers stealing your cash from banks is an ongoing and never-ending game of chess between the villains and the good guys.
Source : Cnet
Content : LovePattayaThailand