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Video Shows How Easy it is to Steal ATM Pin Codes with an iPhone [Watch]

Video Shows How Easy it is to Steal ATM Pin Codes with an iPhone [Watch]

Posted August 31, 2014 at 2:58am by iClarified
Stealing ATM Pins and passcode could get easier for thieves, thanks to infrared technology. As Mark Rober points out in his video below, thieves can simply purchase a thermal imaging (infrared) attachment and with their iPhone, steal any code input from a keypad which was previously used for entry.

The infrared camera shows a thermal signature left by your fingers when you type codes at ATM keypads, door entries and more. All a thief has to do is scan their camera right after you enter the code to see which keys have recently been used. Since the heat signature fades with time, you can even see the order which the keys were pressed. The 'hotter' keys were likely pressed last while the 'dimmer' keys were likely pressed first.

A study at UC San Diego shows that it is possible to guess the correct code 80% of the time if the image was taken immediately after. If the image was taken 1 minute later, there still was a 50/50 change of guessing the correct code.


However, this trick won't work on keypads such as metal ones, which reflect IR. To prevent this trick, Rober recommends you rest your fingers over other buttons while entering your real pin or passcode.

Infrared cameras have been around for a while, but recent accessories like the FLIR ONE bring the device at a reasonable cost to the iPhone.

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Comments (16)
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FiremanSam
FiremanSam - September 2, 2014 at 11:39pm
Some tips to avoid this: If your ATM takes a few seconds between entering your card and entering your PIN, rest your hand on the number pad, this will warm up a lot of the buttons. When entering your PIN, try to do it with all four fingers - that is have each finger over the number you want to press. Leave all the fingers on the buttons until your PIN is entered - all 4 buttons will be same temperature. If you have a PIN with repeating numbers, leave your fourth finger on some other number. When selecting the amount you want to withdraw, use the number pad instead of the quick selection. This will warm up other buttons. While waiting for your cash (if your ATM is slow enough), place your hand back over the number pad to warm up random buttons again.
Cliff
Cliff - September 2, 2014 at 4:32pm
You can also use a pencil or pen to push the buttons.
gamerscul9870
gamerscul9870 - September 2, 2014 at 11:05am
Here's what I do, put on gloves. Not a problem anyway because he needs the card.
ooo
ooo - September 2, 2014 at 3:59am
Ooooh can this steal NFC too? My android phone debits using NFC! Oh no!!
Jared
Jared - September 1, 2014 at 6:36pm
Nice, now that you have the numbers of her pin code, all you need is her debit card and to go through the 10,000 possible combinations those numbers can be arranged in.
gamerscul9870
gamerscul9870 - September 1, 2014 at 6:38pm
The best way to make of the pin is to see how warm it is and make the best order judging the colors or just simple look close enough at what they tap in.
Dommm
Dommm - September 1, 2014 at 10:04pm
He said you could get the order the buttons were pressed from which is hotter the first button pressed would be he coolest and the last button would be he warmest
Dommm
Dommm - September 1, 2014 at 1:38pm
See this has 40000 views whereas normal articles only get 3000
gamerscul9870
gamerscul9870 - September 1, 2014 at 1:39pm
3 million on youtube.
Gern Blansten
Gern Blansten - August 31, 2014 at 2:36pm
If banks started using scramble-pads on ATMs instead of the static number model, this would be a moot point.
Frugga
Frugga - August 31, 2014 at 1:39pm
Sooo getting one
gamerscul9870
gamerscul9870 - August 31, 2014 at 3:14am
What about the lock codes on electronic devices? Wouldn't that work?
gamerscul9870
gamerscul9870 - August 31, 2014 at 3:13am
This will be only useful towards unlocking things if it's a stolen object and you tracked down a thief but can't sneak in through windows for example. That's the only thing this came in handy for.
Simon says
Simon says - August 31, 2014 at 3:09am
Stealing someone's door entry code is one thing. But what in the hell are you going to do with someone's pin code if you don't have their card or magnetic strip recording if their card? Unless you plan on mugging the person to steal their cars after you use ir to steal their pin, this is a moot point.
Lees
Lees - August 31, 2014 at 3:55am
We'll if you are stealing their pin it's not much of a stretch to stealing their card. Presumably, if u plan to pick pocket or mug someone then getting their pin first seems advantageous.
JuergenWest
JuergenWest - August 31, 2014 at 3:08am
The thief still needs to obtain the card as well.
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