Scammers Use Skimmers

Here’s an update to an older newsletter story about keyboard loggers.

A keyboard logger or skimmer captures every keystroke on a computer including credit card information.

What’s new is that scammers planted skimmers in Nordstrom’s.

A skimmer is a tiny device that you can install between a keyboard and a computer or between a keyboard and any USB device.

Keyboard skimmers can store 2 GBs of information or more.

You can purchase a skimmer online for as little as $20.

Anyone can install a skimmer in seconds. Since the device is so small, it is unlikely that anyone would know it was there.

Remove the skimmer and plug it into any other computer and you can see every keystroke entered as well as any credit card number that was scanned.

(Just a note, if you have a secure credit card reader that encrypts the information before it transmits to your computer, fortunately a skimmer is unable to obtain the unencrypted credit card information.)

Keyboard loggers and skimmers are not necessarily illegal. As a parent or as the owner of a company, you may want to monitor exactly what your employees or children are doing. For $20, you can satisfy your curiosity.

If you visit a hotel and use a public computer, you run the risk that someone has added a keyboard logger to the computer and has access to every keystroke you enter including passwords and credit card numbers (should you enter credit card information when using the public computer).

Anyone can learn to use a keyboard logger or skimmer. To install, just remove the keyboard connector. Attach the logger to the keyboard connector and plug it back into the computer. It takes about 10 seconds.

At some future time, remove the keyboard logger and attach it to any computer. You can see every keystroke that was used.

I’m certainly not advocating the use of a skimmer, but you should be aware of them when using any public computer. You may also want to make sure that none of your employees have added a logger to any of your equipment.

To read about the recent Nordstrom’s incident on NBC News go to:

Shoppers getting ripped off by tiny, high-tech cash register skimmers

Read more about the Nordstrom’s incident and see more detailed photos at:

Nordstrom finds cash register skimmers planted in Florida store

Are you ready to buy one?

Buy A Keystroke Logger

I actually found lots of places to buy skimmers and key loggers. Some were fairly inexpensive and highly sophisticated. I certainly don’t want you to go out and buy one. I do want you to know how easy it is to use and obtain. We are living in a scary world.

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