20 March 2018
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Card skimming at European ATMs reaches six-year low - East report

09 April 2014  |  1449 views  |  0 Source: The European ATM Security Team

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) has reported another fall in ATM related card skimming incidents, while card trapping incidents and ATM explosive attacks continue to rise.

EAST has reported a 5% decrease in ATM related fraud attacks, down from 22,450 to 21,346 in 2013.  5,822 card skimming incidents were reported, down by 19% from the 7,184 incidents reported in 2012.  Skimming incidents have now fallen for three successive years and are down 45% from the high of 10,497 incidents reported in 2008.  Card trapping incidents increased 98% (up from 2,726 to 5,394 in 2013).  Trapped cards can be used in the EMV environment (if the PIN has also been compromised). 

Losses due to ATM related fraud attacks fell 7%, down from €265 million to €248 million, and nearly 50% below the high of €485 million reported in 2008.  The majority of these losses continue to be due to card skimming attacks, which fell 7% from €260 million to €241 million.  The majority (83%) of ATM related card skimming losses continue to be international (losses outside national borders by criminals using stolen card details) with most occurring in countries outside of Europe.  Such losses decreased by 9% when compared to 2012 and are mainly now occurring in the USA, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. 

EAST Director and Coordinator Lachlan Gunn said, "This continued fall in ATM related skimming incidents and losses is very good news for the industry and our customers, and highlights the effectiveness of EMV*, regional card blocking and fraud monitoring and detection.  We are aware of a developing trend of ATM related malware attacks in other parts of the world which, combined with the discontinuation of Microsoft support for Windows XP this month, gives some cause for concern.  Our Expert Group on ATM Fraud (EGAF) is focussed on this emerging threat, working with law enforcement, the main ATM vendors and organisations that specialise in computer security.”

ATM related physical attacks increased by 9% when compared with 2012 (up from 1,920 to 2,102 incidents), driven briven briven by a 31% increase in reported solid explosive and explosive gas attacks.  696 such attacks were reported, the fifth successive annual increase and up from a low point of 117 attacks in 2008.  Eleven countries reported such attacks, five of them countries with more than 40,000 ATMs installed.

Losses due to ATM related physical attacks rose 21% to €23 million (up from €19 million in 2012).  The average cash loss for ram raids/ATM burglary (which includes solid explosive and explosive gas attacks) was €11,393 per incident, up from €9,705 in 2012.  While on average 40% of such attacks do not result in cash loss, collateral damage to equipment and buildings can be significant.

*EMV (also known as ‘chip and PIN’) is an industry standard for Smart Cards and card readers, supported by the European Payments Council and the major payment schemes



ATM Related Fraud Attacks






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ATM Related Physical Attacks






% +/- 12/13

Total reported Incidents







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