Parking Stations the new target for credit fraudsters and ram-raids?

Posted on by Martin Quinn in Security Blog Leave a comment


 By Martin Quinn (Principal Consultant) 9 April 2015Pay Station - Intact Security

A few months back was conducting a risk assessment around the safety of credit card information and was on the look out for how credit fraudsters would execute attacks. There are certain modus operandi that these criminals operate. Those that set up scam websites and call centres and take the cyber/internet pathway to get their hands on credit card information and then there are those old school criminals that snatch and grab or ram-raid. Its this later type that got me thinking.

What avenues are there left that would allow a criminal to easily obtain this type of information or data? Banks are too secure, and most criminals have move away from the all out full frontal assault. Attentions more recently had turned to ATMs, the types that are privately owned and operate under a kiosk style format – these hold cash (which in financial terms – is king), but only hold limited amounts. Then it occurred to me as I was pondering this leaving the local parking station. These days, parking stations are more commonly unmanned, have at least one payment machine, and in some cases allow payment to be made at the gate when leaving.

This is what piqued my interest. These payment gateways, don’t seem to have many protections afforded them. All that I noticed was they may have CCTV, but many do not. They were sometime maintained by staff but purely from an operating perspective and not one of security.

From a criminal perspective, is perfect. A cache of cash and usually credit card information too, with little to no protection and barely manned day or night – especially night!

Anyway, I put this attack vector forward to a few colleagues and it wasn’t quite dismissed, but wasn’t investigated further either.

Fast forward to today. As I was leaving the office to my surprise, the local carpark station (where I often park my car) had suffered just this. The payment machine had its door swinging in the breeze, an amount of debris laying around its immediate vicinity, and a spool of receipt dockets lying next to it. All the while being attended to by three police officers (two of which were forensic investigators) and two carpark maintenance staff. It had obviously suffered a ram-raid style attack.

This just solidified my thoughts that these “softer” targets are on the radar of criminals, and will more than likely be more and more common in the near future.

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Author: Intact Security