Infrared cameras can steal your ATM PIN

Infrared cameras can steal your ATM PIN

Credit: University of California at San Diego

Infrared cameras can steal your ATM PIN

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Thieves potentially have new tool to steal your debit or credit card PIN, even if you try to conceal the numbers at an ATM.

Researchers at the University of California at San Diego used infrared cameras to read the buttons on an ATM. The camera picks up the heat left behind from a person's fingers, even a full minute after they touch the buttons.

Eighty percent of the time, the researchers managed to correctly identify the four digits in the code. Even one minute after the transaction, the researchers were still able to identify the numbers about half the time. From that point, it's just a matter of figuring out the order of the code.

The good news for consumers is that the infrared camera only works on plastic buttons. Scientists were not able to accurately pick up the numbers on metal keypads.

Any thief who tries to use this method would have to pay about $18,000 for an infrared camera.

 

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