The constant drive for miniaturisation doesn't just apply to consumer electronics: the crooks are at it, too. And when it comes to card skimmers, this tiny thing is pretty much impossible to spot.
Krebs on Security has pictures of this new breed of card skimmer—the devices that lurk in a card slot to read your details—which was found in a cash machine in southern Europe last week. The bank in whose machine it was found is currently remaining anonymous, releasing these images as a warning to us all. Close-up shots reveal that the thin sheet-metal device is powered by a cheap, tiny watch battery; on board is also a simple magnetic reader and a tiny storage device.
It was almost certainly used in conjunction with a camera to record customer key presses, but a worker from the bank explained that they "didn't capture any hidden camera [because the criminals] probably took it. There were definitely no PIN pad [overlays]. In all skimming cases lately we see through the videos that fraudsters capture the PIN through [hidden] cameras."
These devices are getting so slim that it's now virtually impossible to tell whether a cash machine has been hacked to glean you card details. The advice, as ever, remains the same: if anything ever looks even slightly suspicious at a cash machine, don't use it. It's just annoying that spotting the problem is getting increasingly difficult. [Krebs on Security]