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 Tuesday, September 08, 2009
EU urges wise-up to combat rampant ATM crime

The rise in ATM-related crime has prompted a EU security agency to urge consumers to be more careful about withdrawing money from cash machines. ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency) estimates that annual cash machine losses in Europe have increased to around Ä500m, a 149 per cent increase year-on-year. ENISA blames more sophisticated attacks and fraud alongside the rapid growth in the number of ATMs for the increase.

A  paper by ENISA entitled ATM Crime: Overview of the European situation and golden rules on how to avoid it contains tips on choosing which ATMs to use and other precautions. Many of Europe's 400,000 ATMs (up six per cent since last year) are located in convenience stores, airports and petrol stations where they are at greater risk of tampering than those within banks or shopping malls. The UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy collectively account for 72 per cent of these ATMs.

Fraudsters obtain card details and PINs using a wide range of tactics ranging from "shoulder surfing" to hardware skimmers. Other tactics include trapping and then retrieving users' cards. More recently the use of malware has been implicated in these scams. During 2008, a total of 10,302 skimming incidents were reported in Europe, ENISA reports.

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ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda