ATM skimmer spotted in Vienna


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What I don’t understand is why the bank companies design the ATMs to have those bulbous protrusions in the first place? Why not have a simple slot on every machine at standard? That way anything that’s stuck on the outside would look immediately out of place…


I"m really sick of what a crappy job the financial industry and the ATM manufactures do to make tampering by the addition of skimmers evident. BofA is a case in point. Check out the difference between two of their ATMs, one of which is pretty tamper evident, the other is pretty much indistinguishable from an ATM with a giant skimmer glued on it.

Though if you read the Brian Krebs security site you’ll find that even the fairly tamper evident ATM can be compromised with newer skimmer tech - but the micro skimmers don’t have the same battery power and utility of their big brothers, so tamper evident design in ATMs is still a good thing.

Oddly, Redbox does a much better job of preventing skimmers than banks by putting two metal plates at either end of their swipe reader to limit the travel range of the card swipe so that only their centered magnetic read head gets the full travel of the mag strip, and any skimmer added to either side of the official head doesn’t.


Skimmers would just then be constructed to look like the typical bulbous addon, and fit over the slot.


The safer way of using an ATM is making sure you never ever get money out from a machine that is readily accessible to anyone (aka: outside). Generally ones indoors are safer, not 100% obviously but your chances are better. If you’re totally unsure and want to be certain you don’t get skimmed go to a bank and get money out that way. Or you can do cashback if that’s an option, or buy a Visa giftcard at a store.


Don’t these also require synced video capture of the PIN pad? He should have also looked for the camera.


Often the camera is in the skimmer if the keypad is stupidly designed so the keys can be seen from there - which seems to be most of the time :frowning:


What’s missing here. Reporting it to authorities so they can monitor someone retrieving the device.


If you go to the reddit link for this, they point out where the PIN reader is: it’s in a tan-colored rectangular molded piece of plastic stuck right over the keypad. One would think a security expert from Carbon Black, American no less, would’ve caught that…


They started adding the bulbous protrusions to stop early gen skimmers… and then skimmers started looking like bulbous protrusions. It’s your typical arms race.


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