ATM fraud increases

ATM fraud in Europe is rising fast, with criminals using increasingly sophisticated methods of attack.

According to the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), the amount of fraud shot up by 149 percent in 2008, with total losses reaching E485.15 million in 2008. Nearly E500 million of this was due to international losses.

Many crooks still prefer to do things the easy way and simply look over a customer’s shoulder to get the PIN. Other methods range from ram raids and explosions to rotary saws, thermal lances and diamond drills, says ENISA.

But others are getting more technical. Methods involve the use of a small spy camera, a false PIN overlay and even fake machines. Increasingly, Bluetooth wireless technology is used to transmit card and PIN details to a nearby laptop computer. During 2008 alone, a total of 10,302 such skimming incidents were reported in Europe.

Other attacks on the rise include malware that infects the ATM networks and ATMs themselves. In April 2009, ATMs in Russia were discovered to have been infected with sophisticated malware which was able to not only collect card details but also the PIN.
“Looking ahead, ATM crime is likely to become even more attractive as the latest generation of ATMs is designed to dispense other services and products such as phone top ups and stamps,”  said Andrea Pirotti, Executive Director at ENISA.

ATM Crime: Overview of the European situation and golden rules on how to avoid it is available here  – or at least it will be when they’ve got their website up and running again.