“Virtual Skimming”

Technology has made life to be easy. There is no field that this is more evident as in the finance sector. Talk of credit and debit cards. With one swipe you can just pay a bill. However, criminals have not been left behind. Anyway, why should someone stress themselves and risk their lives robbing a bank at gunpoint when they can steal your card details and achieve the same.

Criminals can steal your card details by skimming. They are now using advanced methods. You can just swipe for some groceries, and they can get the information they need in that short period. It is a crime that has been around for almost decade. It is just that they have gotten smarter in doing it.

With the use of smarter methods of skimming the criminals realize increased success. From 2014 to 2015, the number of breached ATMs in the country increased by 600 percent. From 2015 to 2016 the number increased further by 30 percent. The statistics alarmed even the Federal Trade Commission which came out to warn people and give them tips on how to prevent the criminals from having your credit card information.

The latest technology that they are using is creating virtual skimmers. The virtual skimmer is a software-malware that gets installed in the ATMs. Automated Teller Machines have a network connection. They can hack into these networks and install the malware remotely without touching the machine. You can agree that they have become smarter. There before, the individuals had to walk up to the machine to implant the skimmer physically.

With the advent of virtual skimming, it is becoming harder to detect whether they have compromised the machine you are about to use. It was easier to detect the physical skimmers that they attached on the ATMs. It is because you could see them if you checked well in the right places. Trend Micro, a security firm, estimates that in the January 2016 alone the virtual skimmers enabled the criminals to steal more than 13 million euros.

ATMs are susceptible to these attacks. They are very simple computers that operate the boxes of cash. However, it is the time that the respective banks get smarter than the criminals. They should start using powerful anti-malware. Also, they should identify the loopholes used by the hackers and seal. It is because no one wants to lose their precious dollars.

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