Mobile users

Finally, an app that is able to detect the presence of a Bluetooth-enabled gas pump credit card skimmer has just been developed.

Detection of the Bluetooth enabled gas pump skimmer will no longer be a challenge for credit card and ATM users. Thanks to the group of scientists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, San Diego who just found a way to put a stop to the fraud.

The team of scientists from the abovementioned universities developed an app they called Bluetana. The app functions by detecting the Bluetooth signatures found in the credit card skimmers placed in the gas pump.

Nishant Bhaskar, a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of California San Diego who authored a study on the app said that the Bluetana's goal is to make life tougher for the authors of the Bluetooth-enabled gas pump credit card skimmer.

How Does the Bluetooth-enabled gas pump credit card skimmer work?

In the past, after fraudsters successfully installed their gas pump credit card skimmer, they need to regularly find a way to get near the cash machine to get their stolen data. This process poses a high risk of them being caught.

However, fraudsters, have their way to keep pace with the accelerating progress in technology. They found a way to regularly gather their stolen data after installing the gas pump credit card skimmer without even getting close to the cash machine.

Gas pump credit card skimmer now comes with the Bluetooth wireless capabilities. This technology makes it easier for the fraudsters to acquire the information they need by just sitting inside their cars and downloading any stolen data that their pre-installed tiny skimmers collected.

How reliable is Bluetana?

A test was conducted on 44 government volunteers who were equipped with Bluetana for one year. Surprisingly, after Bluetooth scans on 1,185 gas stations, the app detected 64 Bluetooth-enabled gas pump credit card skimmer. Bluetana even detected two skimmers who surpassed other detections in six months.

Although Bluetana has been proven to cut down the detection time from minutes down to seconds, users may have to wait for a while before the app officially launches to the public. As of the moment, the new must-have app is under the U.S. law enforcement use.

This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.