As if the world of ATM skimmers was not scary enough, criminals have stepped up their game once again. A new type of device will not only read card information and potentially log your pin code, but it will also steal fingerprints. With various banks experimenting with biometric verification for ATM transactions, it looks like criminals are one step ahead yet again.

There Is No Secure Way To use Bank ATMs

Throughout the year criminals have come up with various ways to abuse bank ATMs. Skimming, a technique used to “read” inserted cards and copy all of the sensitive information, has been a popular method for many years. In more recent times there have been various types of ATM malware, which allows criminals to empty teller machines with or without a physical bank card.

Security experts came up with a potential solution in the form of biometric authentication. ATM users would need to provide a fingerprint scan to verify their identity before being allowed to use the machine. On paper this sounds like a good idea, but in reality it is yet another honeypot for criminals to target.

It didn’t take long for a new generation of ATM skimmers to be made available to the public. These new devices are, allegedly, capable of stealing fingerprints from ATMs. In fact, some criminals are exploring ways to obtain retinal and palm vein scans as well, indicating that the underground circuit is well ahead of security providers once again.

Although it remains unclear if these biometric skimmers work, the first batch of these devices was spotted in the wild a few weeks ago. Some bugs still have to be ironed out, however, including developing a better system to transmit the procured data. Using a GSM module just won’t cut it, but it won’t take long until that problem is addressed.

To make matters worse, Kaspersky Labs believes crooks are working on ways to fool facial recognition biometrics. If they are able to pull this off, the whole biometric authentication solution can be thrown in the trash bin right away. Right now there is no way to safely use a bank ATM at all times, as one never knows who might be preying on innocent victims.

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