Hamburg police warns of manipulated card payment terminals
Hamburg's Regional Criminal Police Office (LKA) has warned retailers that payment terminals in Hamburg are currently being targeted by fraudsters. Apparently, the criminals replace legitimate card payment terminals in retail outlets with manipulated devices that record an inserted card's magnetic strip and PIN data.
The police authority said that, probably to avoid detection, several of the bugged terminals were swapped for legitimate devices again last weekend. However, the authority considers it likely that further attacks involving manipulated terminals are currently in progress: "It is highly probable that POS terminals with skimming facilities have recently been introduced into retail outlets", said the warning. Among other reasons, the attack is possible because replacement devices automatically sign into the system and then just continue to operate seamlessly.
According to the LKA, the affected model is "3380" by a company called "ingenico". The letter that has been sent to retailers who use such devices says that those who use such a card payment terminal should check the serial number on the back of their device. Anything "conspicuous or inconsistent" should be reported to the LKA or at a police station, added the authority.
As reduced numbers of cash point skimming incidents have been recorded for some time, it appears that the criminals have now shifted their focus to payment terminals. Only a few months ago, unknown attackers were found to have manipulated more than 60 payment terminals to skim users' card details at the American Barnes & Noble bookstore chain.
More recently, security blogger Brian Krebs reported on point-of-sale skimmers being sold on the underground markets in the US. In one case, a completely fake POS terminal was available which skimmed the card and printed a bogus transaction slip (or reported a connection error).