Divided by a common standard

No-one (at least no-one reading this blog) can have failed to have noticed the story that’s been running in US on the apparently industrial scale card-skimming that’s been going on there. It’s so bad that Citibank has blocked ATM withdrawals from some MasterCard accounts after a series of fraudulent cash withdrawals in the UK, Russia and Canada. Wells Fargo, similarly, blocked ATM withdrawals in the UK. Gartner say that this is the “largest PIN theft to date”. While it’s difficult to determine exactly what has gone wrong, the general opinion seems to be that it is not bank systems but third-party systems (a processor or a retailer) that have been compromised (yet again), enabling criminals to manufacture counterfeit cards on an large scale and then distribute them for use at ATMs.

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