The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

ATM system called unsafe

Posted by Xavier Ashe on December 1, 2006

Researchers who work for an Israeli computer security company say
they have discovered a fundamental weakness in the system that banks
use to keep debit card PIN codes secret while they are transported
across bank networks – a flaw that they say could undermine the entire
debit card system.

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the matter, and MSNBC.com
obtained a memo compiled by the agency that indicates that organized
criminals are systematically attempting to subvert the ATM system and
unscramble encrypted PIN traffic.

The report has ignited a debate within the banking industry, with
many financial industry experts downplaying the seriousness of the flaw
and outside experts divided on its implications. But there is no
disputing the impact that such a hack would have if successful.

I generally don't like posting “the sky is falling” articles, but this is an interesting possibility. Read the full article from MSNBC.

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