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New ATM break-in device: MP3 player

Devices reportedly used to tap phone lines

If there's a sudden surge in the number of iPods seen in ATM lines, this may explain it.


A criminal gang in the U.K. was able to steal confidential banking data by bugging ATMs with an MP3 player, The Times of London reported in its online edition Thursday. The gang reportedly targeted freestanding cash dispensers and would tap the phone line between the ATM and a wall socket by placing a two-way adaptor on it and connecting an MP3 player.

The digital music device would record the data traffic, which sounds like the noise a traditional computer modem makes when connecting. The noise would be interpreted using a modem line tap or passed through a special computer software program. The Times said the gang was then able to create copies of credit cards and make purchases worth 200,000 pounds, nearly $380,000.

Wouldn't you think all this activity around a cash machine would arouse at least some suspicion?