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Oct 16, 2011

PIN Entry Devices Modified to Copy Card Information

A sophisticated cybercrime was recently uncovered by UK law enforcement officials in which a German electronics engineer was arrested for helping out an organized crime network in the process of cloning cards.

The Metropolitan Police informs that Thomas Beeckmann, aged 26, was involved in an intricate operation in which PIN Entry Devices (PEDs) were altered seamlessly to record and transmit data from the cards that passed through them.

After the machines were stolen from shops all around Europe, they were brought to the UK where Beeckmann could rig them up to become data stealing devices. He would place a circuit board inside them which contained a small memory that would store info. 

What's even more interesting is that after the PEDs were reintroduced to the shops from where they were stolen from, the masterminds didn't have to physically repossess them in order to retrieve the data. Everything was transmitted through a Bluetooth component to a gang member that went near the apparatus.

The clone cards could then be easily used in places where the chip and PIN system has not yet been implemented.

"By putting this individual behind bars the Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit has prevented them from defrauding the banking industry and its customers of significant sums of money. 

“There can be no doubt that the work of our specialist unit over the past few years has played a key part in driving card fraud down, and we continue to provide a clear warning to the organised gangs and those who work with them that we will track them down," revealed Investigating office Detective Sergeant Richard Maynard. 

The suspect pleaded guilty to possession of articles for use in fraud and to failing to tell the police what the password to his laptop was, after the police found a number of electronic boards that were deployed in the scheme.


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