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Merchants Beware: Skimming Attacks Are on the Rise

October 25, 2010

Card-skimming attacks are on the rise as crooks devise simple ways to compromise payment terminals. To prevent such attacks, merchants should inspect payment terminals to check for changes in the screws or seams and ensure there have been no changes in serial numbers.

Skimming Attacks Are on the Rise
Skimming is the unauthorized capture and transfer of payment data to another source.

Card-skimming attacks are on the rise this year as crooks devise relatively simple, inexpensive new ways to compromise payment terminals, according to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council’s top technology executive. 
 
“We are seeing a lot of attacks aimed at capturing PIN numbers, and a lot of card-skimming goes under the radar,” says Troy Leach, the council’s chief technology officer. 
 
Skimming is the unauthorized capture and transfer of payment data to another source. Its purpose is to commit fraud. The threat is serious and it can hit any merchant’s environment. With skimming, thieves steal payment data directly from the consumer’s payment card or from the payment infrastructure at the merchant’s location. Both techniques typically require the use of a rogue physical device planted onsite.
 
To prevent such attacks, merchants should routinely inspect payment terminals to check for changes in the screws or seams and to ensure there have been no changes in serial numbers or other labels on the devices. 

 

 

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