New type of ATM skimming attacks

ATMs in Europe have lately been hit with skimming attacks that are not only effective, but also rather brazen – the criminals have taken to reprogramming the banks’ own anti-skimming devices for their unlawful purposes.

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) does not say which banks in which particular country suffered these attacks, but some hints point to one of these five: U.K. France, Germany, Russia or Spain.

Another new type of attack has also been detected – a skimming device that contains an MP3 player adapted to record card details and that includes a micro-camera that record the PINs as they are entered by the customers.

Having been spotted in use in 2007 in Eastern Europe for the first time, installing malware on the vulnerable Windows CE-running ATMs is an attack method which use has also increased over the years.

But, according to ComputerWorld, there is one attack that doesn’t have to worry European banks much – “shimming” is a type of attack that involves using a very thin plastic circuit board and inserting it into the ATM so that the data can be recoded or sent wirelessly. Fortunately for the Europeans, their ATMs are designed in such a way to make this difficult.