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A phony reader used to collect data from cards’ magnetic strips

Bahrain banks urged to replace old ATMs

MANAMA, October 24, 2014

Banks in Bahrain have been urged to stop using outdated ATMs after dozens of card holders had their details stolen in a security breach earlier this month.

According to Bahrain Bankers Union (BBU), several local and regional banks continue to use older cash machines that lack modern security features and are vulnerable to tampering by fraudsters, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Flaws in these machines were exploited to swipe the cards of 174 credit and debit card holders in what the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) described as a 'limited breach' of security.

The GDN reported on Wednesday that ATMs at City Centre Bahrain and other locations had been targeted by thieves, who installed phony readers to collect data from cards' magnetic strips.

They are also said to have installed micro-cameras to record PIN numbers as they were being entered.

“We know for a fact that at least two leading banks in Bahrain still operate outdated ATMs, which pose a potential risk,” said BBU president Khalil Zainal.

“These ATMs are of an older generation and need to be replaced with ones that have new security features to prevent fraud from occurring.”

Zainal said some banks failed to upgrade their ATMs, which made them a prime target for fraudsters.

“The gangs behind such frauds have knowledge of the technology and even, in some cases, banking experience which they use to commit their crimes,” he said.

“They have enough experience to see an ATM machine and know if it can be tampered with.”

Once a card holder's details had been swiped, they would be used to make phony cards that could withdraw money from ATMs located in neighbouring countries, the official said.

However, because banks are required to send a text message to customers every time a withdrawal is made, this reduces the number of fraud cases '“ and because the banks are insured they cannot refuse to refund affected customers.

“If they do, the person can contact the CBB or even file a complaint at the nearest police station,” he added.

The CBB earlier said that it had met all retail banks and card companies to discuss appropriate security measures, while continuing its ongoing investigation into the breach with the Interior Ministry.

The GDN reported yesterday that BBK chief executive Abdulkareem Bucheery claimed a CCTV camera at the bank's Juffair ATM had managed to capture the face of one of the ATM thieves. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Bank | ATM | stolen | details | outdates |

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