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Deep Insert Skimmers Need To Be Addressed

by on May 7, 2016

ATM Skimming has been a grave threat to consumers and financial institutions for quite some time now. It appears there is no light at the end of the tunnel just yet, as so-called deep insert skimmers are starting to become more common. Due to their small size and near-invisible design, they can be placed inside of a card acceptance slot on cash machines all over the world.

Also read: CIPS May Overtake SWIFT As Early As Q3 2016

Deep Insert Skimmers Are A Financial Threat

The Fintech industry is focusing their attention on innovating payments and bringing additional security to the table. But the ATM area is often overlooked, even though these devices are in dire need of a solution to combat deep insert skimmers. Although skimming is not entirely new, this next evolutionary step has plenty of security experts concerned.

What makes these deep insert skimmers such a significant threat is how they can be placed in different position within the card reader transport. In fact, some of them have been found behind the shutter of the motorized card reader as well, completely obfuscating them from the consumer point of view. But that is not the biggest worry, as these tiny devices will not be affected by anti-skimming jamming solutions.

NCR Corp, a well-known ATM maker, told the media:

“Neither NCR Skimming Protection Solution, nor other anti-skimming devices can prevent skimming with these deep insert skimmers. This is due to the fact the skimmer sits well inside the card reader, away from the detectors or jammers of [NCR’s skimming protection solution].”

So far, these deep insert skimmers have been used in ATM fraud across most of Europe and the US. Whether or not this indicates the solution is being embraced by more criminals, is unknown. But it seems clear these tiny tools have the potential to become a new trend among skimmers worldwide, and it will take time to come up with adequate solutions.

This is where the FinTech industry comes into the picture, as there are plenty of bright minds who put security and innovative solutions at the top of their mental priority list. Albeit NCR is testing a new firmware update, more helping hands and a fresh set of eyes on the manner can do wonders to prevent deep insert skimmers from becoming a global trend.

At the same time, skimming trends like these pose the question as to whether or not going cashless altogether is a better solution. ATMs pose a security risk for consumers and financial institutions, and FinTech companies are working on various new ways to use payments around the world. Collaboration between both sectors will be key to addressing these issues.

Source: Krebs on Security

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.
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