I try to make a point of not using an ATM anymore unless it’s connected to an actual bank location or there are literally no other options. Like if I don’t have cash, someone dies. That’s how extreme the situation has to be for me to insert my debit card into an ATM.
This ATM in a Virginia grocery store doesn’t need red flags. This machine IS a red flag. Here’s Geek.com to explain..
That black box sitting on top is an antenna which the machine relies on for its wireless Internet connection. Underneath is a Cisco router, which was presumably installed to add a layer of security to the installation.
If that’s really why it’s there, though, you’d think it wouldn’t have just been plopped on top of the machine. You’d also think that there wouldn’t be three additional LAN ports sitting there, exposed, just waiting for someone to come along and plug a laptop in.
You can see the open ports right next to the red network cable that runs down to the ATM. But wait, what’s that flat, powder blue cable next to it? Why, that’s the console cable that Cisco shipped with this router. It’s super useful because it lets you reprogram the box even when something prevents you from doing it with a web browser (say, like a semi-competent admin).
To make matters worse, the person who spotted the ATM and submitted the photos noted that he saw ZERO security cameras anywhere around the ATM or the store.
I’m sure someone has hacked into it already. I’m glad I only pay for things in nickels.
Here’s a similar cautionary tale about getting your credit card information stolen: