WARNING: All risks are yours.
The times are hard and some are thinking of other ways to make a living and these ways include breaking the law as revealed by increased crime rate over the past few years. To be a devil’s advocate, let me share with you one of the latest methods of how to steal an ATM pin number.
Before you even know how to steal an ATM pin number let me give you a solution to your immediate predicament, how you will be able to use the stolen ATM pin number without access to the ATM card itself.
One, you will need to live in a world where most people have their ATM (credit or debit) cards NFC enabled or have stored the card’s information in their NFC enabled smartphones. Basically Kenya is not the country to think of as at now but a little patience is necessary as Safaricom is planning to introduce NFC enabled SIM cards for M-PESA transactions. Once the NFC SIM cards are out, and hopefully banks will follow by introducing NFC enabled ATM cards given the today’s craze over ApplePay, we will try to be the first to let you know.
After you have identified your target who has NFC enabled card, you need to invest in an NFC scanner. Your next step would be to be in very close proximity with your target and discretely scan his/her wallet. The video below shows you how that works.
With the ATM card information at hand, you are now ready to go to the next step, steal the ATM Pin number which is actually easier.
You’ll need to be the next person who visits the ATM machine after your target has done his/her transaction. You will also need to pray hard that the machine’s keypads are not metallic but rubber. Then you will need to have bought the infrared camera but that’s easy, there are many smartphone especially iPhone covers that come embedded with the infrared camera.
Immediately your target leaves the ATM machine or any other key pad for inputting pins like those used by bank agents back at the residential estates, you will discretely hover your phone over the machine, do your transaction, hope the person behind you is not a thief too, and leave.
If your mission was successful then you now have both the ATM information which you can use to create a new ATM card and the ATM pin.
How the infrared camera steals the PIN number
The infrared camera is able to collect thermal signatures due to temperature difference at points on a surface. For example if you touch the surface of your table which would naturally be colder than you, thermal equilibrium tends to set in where heat flows from you to the table hence making the point you touched a little bit hotter than the rest of the table while your hand/finger gets a little bit colder.
Thus when you press the key pads of an ATM machine to input your ATM pin, the individual keypads pressed will be hotter than the pads that were not pressed. If someone immediately comes with an infrared scanner to scan the key pad a few seconds after you have left, then the slightly hot keys will be detected. Refer to the image above to see a visual comparison. The youtube video below shows you how that works.
What if you are the target
It is great to think that you are the hacker but probably someone who has also read this article is more interested in trying this technique faster than you. That means you need to keep yourself safe.
First, you need to prevent your card from being scanned. This link tells your how:
If you have two cards with RFID chips in your wallet, the scanner can’t read them because they confuse the information and cancel each other out. […]
If you’re still worried about getting ripped off by someone invading your space with a notepad-like scanner, here’s a tried-and-true precautionary move: Put a piece of aluminum foil in your wallet.
Secondly, you will need to prevent the guy who has infrared camera from scanning your thermal signature. This is incredibly simple. This other link says:
Rest your fingers on the other buttons while you punch in the other numbers.
Now you know how to steal from those who don’t want to follow those simple steps to protect themselves from thieves like you.