Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Analysts Say ATM Systems Highly Vulnerable

The Associated Press is reporting on a report from Gartner Inc., which suggests that most banks are not doing enough to protect customers from ATM fraud. The reason is that most bank and debit cards do not take advantage of the full potential of two-track magnetic strips. Most bank cards only encode the card number on the magnetic strip, so anybody with a card writer and your card number (available from discarded receipts) is able to make a duplicate. Combine that with your PIN and that's the key to emptying your account. The solution posited by the Gartner analysts is to use the second track in the magnetic strip to encode an additional token that is verified by the ATM but is not otherwise available to the users. Some banks already use this technique. See: Analysts Say ATM Systems Highly Vulnerable - Yahoo! News.

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