Thieves seem to have a new gadget every week to skim your credit cards, hack into your accounts or steal your security codes. Now, they can even use your body heat to their advantage. Flir’s infrared iPhone case gives a handy thermal view of the world, but it gives would-be ATM pin thieves an upper hand (Image source: Flir).
A device that looks like an ordinary iPhone case can actually pick up the thermal heat signatures left behind after you punch in your bank code at the supermarket or the ATM.
You've just finished your trip to the grocery store with your debit card, making sure to hide your pin number. But before you get home, the funds in your account are wiped clear. How did this happen?
Thanks to an inexpensive and ingenious device that attaches to an iPhone, a new wave of cyber theft allows the holder to commit silent robbery by reading your thermal imprint. There are a variety of ways they can obtain your card number right there or later, but what they really need is your PIN.
Mark Rober demonstrates how easy this theft is by actually stealing someone's PIN in the video below.
Aside from the obvious solution of using cash for such transactions, there are a few ways to turn the thermal hack against your would-be opponent.
Wrong. If the thief has devised a plan to snag your PIN, he or she likely has a way to capture the rest of your card’s information as well. It gets especially easy for the bad guys if you have a contactless card: something as simple as a radio frequency identification scanner (which work fromup to three feet away in some cases) can capture your card’s data, and boom: The perp has all the info they need.
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