Cybersecurity firms urge caution

Consumers for their part need to ideally have multiple cards with low limits to ensure less loss.

Updated - September 20, 2016 01:27 pm IST

Published - August 13, 2016 02:40 am IST - Bengaluru and Chennai

Criminals are finding new ways to rob vital data as technology advances, forcing banks and retailers to constantly scout for newer defences, according to cybersecurity companies including Lucideus Tech and Symantec.

Saket Modi, co-founder of Lucideus said skimming technology has matured to 3D printed skimming devices placed at ATMs.

“We have come a long way in terms of maturity in the ways of card skimming. You get over 3,500 results on Alibaba for the term ‘card skimmer’ making it extremely easy for literally anyone to acquire a state-of-the-art skimming equipment,” said Mr. Modi. He said there are dozens of credible underground (Internet) forums for carding where these skimmed credit card numbers are sold in bulk — the average price being $2 to $3 depending on the issuer — Visa, Master Card or AmEx.

“This reduces your chances of being caught by the law.” Providing a direct interface to cash inevitably make ATMs a target, said Atul Anchan, Director Systems Engineering, India, Symantec. “Attack methods extend from physical (such as skimming and pin cameras) to virtual through malware,” he said.

Skimming is one of the more popular methods used by cyber-criminals, especially in Point of Sale (POS) terminals by installing additional hardware. In the case of POS terminals, while card data is encrypted as it is sent for payment authorization, it is not encrypted while the payment is actually being processed, i.e. the moment when a user swipes the card.

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