Sunday, August 3, 2008

HomeATM Transactions...Eminently More Secure than Bricks and Mortar

Here's followup to a posting made to the HomeATM blog last May: "Supermarket ATM/Reader Rigged with Illicit Scanner"  regarding Lunardi's Supermarket in Los Gatos...

A former employee of Lunardi’s Supermarket in Los Gatos has been arrested on charges he was involved in a scam stealing thousands of dollars from store customers.  According to the Mercury News, Raymond Kurt Fisher, 37, was taken into custody Thursday night on burglary, conspiracy and drunken driving charges.

During the time he worked at Lunardi’s, police say Fisher installed an illegal debit card reader and stole both customers’ identification and pin numbers. Nearly $300,000 were stolen from at least 250 customers' bank accounts. Fisher is being held on $1 million bail. Authorities are continuing to investigate whether or not Fisher may have had accomplices in Southern California where most of the money was stolen.

"Scanner tampering has long been a subject of concern for security researchers, who have demonstrated the ease of ATM machine hacks, as well as of smart card scanners for physical security"

Editor's Note: Credit or debit card skimming is a real threat. Most think that credit/debit card fraud only happens online, which is simply not true.  People should trust online purchases more than they do bricks and mortar location purchases.

When you "hand your card over" to a complete stranger, all that person needs is a credit/debit card swiper to save the information from the magnetic strip on the back into a memory chip. Now they have all the information they need to create a fake credit card.  I'm surprised we haven't seen more incidents involving restaurants.  Not only do you "hand it over" but the wait/er/tress walks away with it and often doesn't return for 5-10 minutes...plenty of time to accomplish a hack-attack.

It doesn't stop there either, as there has been several instances whereby a tech savy criminal equips ATM machines with a card skimmer (see picture on left) and a video camera to record your PIN.

HomeATM's PIN-Based Online ePayment platform will transform online transactions in such a way as to not only make them  the most secure on the web, but eminently more secure than those transactions processed at brick and mortar locations.

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