Saturday, January 7, 2012

When keying in PIN, cover the keypad, 'nuff said.

By now, everyone and their mother should have heard about the theft of funds from DBS bank accounts through card skimming.

This is such an old scam that there are forum posts on it dating back to the early 2000s. Just do a Google search on it.

And just like in previous years, it was done in almost exactly the same manner: a card skimming device attached to the card reader and a spy camera to capture the PIN as it is punched in by the cardholder.

[Obviously, the ATM card you carry doesn't hold the PIN information. That is stored centrally at the bank itself.]

Which is why, for years and years since the first skimming incident, I have always covered the keypad with my left hand as I enter my PIN at the ATM with my right hand. In fact, I don't even look at the keypad when I enter my PIN. I use all five fingers to punch in my PIN with my right hand on the keypad, just like on a keyboard when I am at a desktop computer.

So, for those who haven't adopted such a habit yet, and the statistics indicate at least 400 / 2700 = 15% of users haven't, please do yourself a favor and cover the keypad when you are entering your PIN at an ATM.

2 comments:

unbrandedbreadnbutter said...

Ya boy, old skool tactic. Good ol' leftie still da best (no pun intended). =)

Derrick said...

Hey I've been a reader of this blog for a while and thought you might be interested in this article by the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/opinion/sunday/the-death-of-the-cyberflaneur.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2