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Approximately 57% of breaches targeting financial institutions worldwide this year have been attributed to ‘general hacking’, according to a financial yearly review by Flashpoint. In comparison, about 6.5% were as a result of ATM skimming, a PIN-stealing technique targeting credit and debit cards by rigging machines with hidden recording devices.

Flashpoint analysts found that “ATM malware represented one of the most popular malware and service offerings in 2022, they have also observed that threat actors specializing in ATM fraud often share slightly out-of-date techniques and tools, likely out of a desire to protect the most cutting-edge methods for their private use. Over the past year within Flashpoint’s Telegram collections, for example, multiple threat actors used the same three images to advertise ‘deep insert skimmers,’ suggesting that threat actors are less likely to share new tactics, techniques, and procedures for free,” the report reads. “Advertisements for ATM card skimmers or tutorials on how to employ them are commonly featured on popular markets. They commonly sell for between $500 and $1000.”

ATM skimmers may also have hidden cameras installed to record customer PIN codes. Criminals use ATM skimming to illegally obtain personal information for profit. Card numbers, CVV codes, expiration dates, and PINs collected by ATM skimmers are sent to remote devices controlled by the criminals, who may use the details to commit identity theft or other scams. Stolen data can also be offered up for sale on the dark web. Using ATMs that have been compromised by skimming devices poses a serious risk to your financial security, and may enable hackers to make fraudulent online payments, or even clone your card.

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