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App Allows Inspectors to Find Gas Pump Skimmers Faster


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A gas pump.

Researchers have developed an app that can detect devices installed in gas pumps to steal consumer credit and debit card data.

Credit: turbosquid.com

An app developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Illinois can detect devices installed in gas pumps to steal consumer credit and debit card data.

These devices, called skimmers, use Bluetooth to transmit the data they steal.

The Bluetana app detects the Bluetooth signature of the skimmers, allowing inspectors to find the devices without needed to open the gas pumps.

The researchers developed the algorithm Bluetana uses to distinguish skimmers from legitimate Bluetooth devices, based on the results of a field study during which the team analyzed scans of Bluetooth devices taken by inspectors at 1,185 gas stations across six states.

From University of California, San Diego
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