Bluetana is a new tool that keeps you safe at the gas station

Security researcher Brian Krebs has uncovered a new tool that will keep you safer at the gas station. Skimmers are devices that hackers hide on or inside gas pumps. These devices steal your credit card number and PIN are are often hidden under faceplates and inside card slots.

The tool is basically a Bluetooth sniffer that hunts for transmitters inside gas pumps. If it senses a Bluetooth device then the gas station managers can tear down the pump to find out what’s going on.

According to the study, some 44 volunteers? ? mostly law enforcement officials and state employees ? were equipped with Bluetana over a year-long experiment to test the effectiveness of the scanning app. From the post:

The researchers said their volunteers collected Bluetooth scans at 1,185 gas stations across six states, and that Bluetana detected a total of 64 skimmers across four of those states. All of the skimmers were later collected by law enforcement, including two that were reportedly missed in manual safety inspections of the pumps six months earlier.

Skimmers are big business.

?Based on the prior figures,?we estimate the range of per-day revenue from a skimmer is $4,253?(25 cards per day, cashout of $362 per card, and 47% cashout success rate), and our high end estimate is $63,638 (100 cards per day per day, $1,354 cashout per card, and cashout success rate of 47%),? said the creators of the software.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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