ATM skimmers are dangerous things. They are designed to steal information from credit cards and debit cards. They have to be installed in an ATM manually but once installed, they can do some real damage. However, there are many techniques and trained eyes around the world that can spot them. However, periscope skimmers are a different thing entirely.
Periscope skimmers are designed to be installed in an ATM and can not be seen by the most trained eyes. They have to be installed once but when they are they can record 32,000 card numbers and work for up to 14 days without a recharge. Krebson Security explains that they’re connected to the motorized card reader and the circuit board where the card’s information is transferred to the electronics to make transactions.
The Connecticut financial crimes unit released a non-public alert recently that told of a periscope skimmer found in an ATM in Greenwich in August and one in an ATM in Pennsylvania in early September. The good news is that neither of these skimmers included a way for them to read the PIN numbers of the card which are required for transactions.
This is clearly a test for future fraud and online theft. And even if these skimmers don’t have the tech to read PIN numbers you can bet who ever has planted them has a way of getting them.