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Hackers unmask fake ATM at security conference

03 August 2009  |  8457 views  |  0 ATM

A fake ATM placed in the lobby of a Las Vegas hotel was rumbled when the venue was visited by more than 8000 security professionals attending the annual DefCon hacker fest.

The heavily-disguised PC had been installed next to the hotel security entrance, well away from the prying eyes of the casino CCTV network. The kiosk was designed to record card data and PINs for later retrieval and use on white label plastic.

The scam was uncovered after DefCon hackers noticed something amiss with the machine.

"They looked at the screen where there would normally be a camera," Priest, a senior conference organiser, told Computerworld. "It was a little bit too dark, so someone shined a flashlight in there and there was a PC."

Defcon organisers notified the police who removed the machine for forensic tests.

Google security researcher Chris Paget has also been tweeting from Vegas about a separate cash machine scam involving multiple Diebold machines at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

The DefCon event coincides closely with the Black Hat security conference, which hit the headlines early last month when a security analyst scheduled to perform a live demo of an ATM cracking operation at the Vegas conference was forced to pull out of the show after the cash machine manufacturer called for more time to protect bank customers from the vulnerability.

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