What is Skimming in Cyber Security?
Skimming refers to the theft of credit card information through the use of a small device attached to a card reader, such as an ATM machine. The device captures the information stored on the magnetic strip of the credit card when it is inserted into the machine. This information can then be used for unauthorized transactions.
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Why you should be Worried?
There are several reasons why you should be concerned about skimming:
- Financial loss: If your credit card information is stolen through skimming, the thief can use it to make unauthorized transactions, resulting in financial loss for you.
- Identity theft: Skimming often involves the theft of other personal information, such as your name and address, which can be used for identity theft.
- Time and effort to resolve: If your credit card information is stolen, it can take a significant amount of time and effort to resolve the issue, including contacting your bank, disputing unauthorized charges, and monitoring your credit report.
- Wider impact: Skimming not only affects individuals, but it can also have wider impacts on the financial system and the economy.
Therefore, it is important to be vigilant and take steps to protect yourself from skimming attacks, such as regularly monitoring your bank statements and being cautious when using public card readers.
Types of Skimming in Cyber Security:
There are several types of skimming in cybersecurity:
- ATM skimming: The theft of credit card information through the use of a small device attached to an ATM machine.
- Fuel pump skimming: The theft of credit card information through the use of a skimming device installed at a fuel pump.
- Point-of-Sale (POS) skimming: The theft of credit card information through the use of a skimming device installed at a POS terminal, such as a checkout counter in a store.
- Card-not-present skimming: The theft of credit card information through online transactions or over the phone, where the thief does not have physical access to the card.
- RAM scraping: The theft of credit card information from the memory of a point-of-sale terminal or other electronic device.
It is important to be aware of these types of skimming and to take steps to protect yourself, such as using secure websites for online transactions, being cautious when using public card readers, and regularly monitoring your bank statements.
How to Stop Skimming in Cyber Security?
There are several steps you can take to stop skimming in cybersecurity:
- Use chip cards: Chip cards are more secure than magnetic strip cards and are less susceptible to skimming attacks.
- Be vigilant when using ATMs: Check for signs of tampering or skimming devices before using an ATM. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN.
- Use secure websites: When making online transactions, only use secure websites that have “https” in the URL and a padlock icon in the address bar.
- Monitor your bank statements: Regularly check your bank statements and report any suspicious or unauthorized transactions immediately.
- Use a credit monitoring service: Consider using a credit monitoring service to alert you to any changes or suspicious activity on your credit report.
- Use complex passwords: Use complex passwords that are difficult to guess or crack and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
- Keep software updated: Regularly update the software on your devices, including your computer and mobile phone, to ensure that security vulnerabilities are patched.
By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to skimming attacks and protect your sensitive information from theft.
Recent E-Skimming Cases:
Here are a few examples of e-skimming cases:
- Shopify e-skimming: In 2020, security researchers discovered a widespread e-skimming campaign targeting online stores using the Shopify platform. The attackers used malicious scripts to steal payment card information from customers.
- Forever 21 breach: In 2017, Forever 21 announced that it had discovered a data breach that impacted its point-of-sale systems. The attackers used malicious software to skim payment card information from customers.
- Hudson’s Bay Company breach: In 2018, Hudson’s Bay Company, the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, announced that it had discovered a data breach that impacted its point-of-sale systems. The attackers used malicious software to skim payment card information from customers.
These are just a few examples of e-skimming attacks, but it is important to note that these types of attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated, and it is important to take steps to protect yourself from these types of attacks.
Who is at risk the most?
Anyone who uses a credit or debit card for payment is at risk of skimming. However, there are certain groups of people who are at a higher risk, such as:
- Frequent travelers: People who frequently use ATMs or make purchases with their cards while traveling may be more vulnerable to skimming attacks due to unfamiliarity with the local environment and card readers.
- Older adults: Older adults may be less familiar with technology and may be more susceptible to skimming attacks.
- People who use older or unsecured card readers: People who use older or unsecured card readers, such as gas pumps or ATMs, may be more vulnerable to skimming attacks.
- Online shoppers: Online shoppers may be more vulnerable to card-not-present skimming attacks, where the thief does not have physical access to the card.
It is important for everyone to take steps to protect themselves from skimming attacks, regardless of their level of risk. This includes using chip cards, being vigilant when using card readers, using secure websites for online transactions, and regularly monitoring bank statements.
Skimming in cybersecurity refers to the illegal practice of stealing credit card information from unsuspecting customers. This is typically done by using a device known as a skimmer, which is placed on card readers such as ATMs or gas pumps.
Skimming attacks can result in the theft of sensitive financial information, leading to financial losses and damage to one’s credit. It is important to be vigilant and take steps to protect yourself from skimming attacks, such as using chip cards, being cautious when using ATMs, and using secure websites for online transactions.