For each day that passes by the methods that the bad guys use to get access to your hard earned cash are getting more advanced. By now, I think most people have heard about “Skimming“, a method that scans and records the information on your credit card, that can later be transferred to a usable fake card. This method is getting more advanced; however, cardholders and banks are putting up a valiant fight which drives the bad guys to come up with new methods. The latest one is the next generation iPhone ATM code hack. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at how it works and how you can easily protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Usually the tools that the bad guys are using are created by themselves, but in this case it’s actually a groundbreaking technology that has been slimmed down, repacked and put in the hands of people like you and me. It’s a technology developed and made available by FLIR that turns your iPhone into a thermal-sensing camera. You might have seen this technology used in TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and other paranormal shows where the investigators are looking for invisible thermal signatures in pitch black haunted houses.
The FLIR technology was recently compiled into an iPhone case and put on the market. It’s a truly awesome technology that anyone can get a hold of, even the bad guys. So what is the big deal with this next gen iPhone ATM code hack and how is it used?
The approach is quite simple and doesn’t involve much preparation or interaction with the victim at all. Let’s say that you stand in line to pay for a shirt you want to buy. During the whole process of you paying, nothing will seem out of the ordinary as the bad guy will not make his move until you’re done. When you are done, he or she will hold his or her phone up as if he or she is texting someone. What is actually happening is that the thermal-sensing camera built into the case is pointed at the keypad where you just punched in your ATM code. With just a silent click on the screen, your code has been recorded. How?
Well, as you punched in your code, your fingers left residue heat on the keys you used. The way the FLIR thermal-sensing camera works is that it sees hot as red and cold as blue. As you might imagine, from here on out it’s quite easy to figure out what keys were punched and in what order as the hottest key is the last one pressed while the coldest one is the first one pressed. This means that not only will the person have the four digits of your code but also what sequence they were pressed in.
Worried? Calm down, there is a simple trick you can utilize to prevent your code from being hijacked through this iPhone ATM code hack, and it hardly take any effort from your part. What you need to do is to rest your other hand on the keypad while you punch in your ATM code. This will make the whole keypad one big thermal signature and make it impossible for the bad guy to acquire your code through this simple ATM code hack. Pretty simple, right?
The chance of you spotting an iPhone sporting this FLIR case capable of performing this ATM code hack is quite slim, so you do best in always utilizing this method to protect yourself. Also know that ATM machines or POS stations that have metal keys do not reveal your thermal signature due to the reflective surface of the keys. This is one reason the manufacturers use the metal keys in the first place. However, there are far more keypads out there than you could imagine that do sport the plastic or rubber keys that do emit heat.
Be sure to protect yourself. This protective method is really simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort from your part. It could definitely save you a lot of headaches and frustration in the future. Another thing you can do is to keep an eye on the person in front of you to see if he or she is performing this ATM code hack on the person in front of him or her. If so, make sure you notify the staff. Who knows, you might save someone from having a really bad Christmas or birthday.