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]

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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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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 - September 2, 2014 at 4:32pm
You can also use a pencil or pen to push the buttons.
Stual - September 2, 2014 at 11:05am
Here's what I do, put on gloves. Not a problem anyway because he needs the card.
Walor - September 2, 2014 at 5:47am
We found the solution. The Secure PIN keys. Lock him in the condo as well. Do you know this key. Hands of unauthorized persons will not work.
ooo - September 2, 2014 at 3:59am
Ooooh can this steal NFC too? My android phone debits using NFC! Oh no!!
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