Benjamin Tedesco, security researcher for, a US-based security firm, has made a worrying discovery while on vacation with his family in Vienna, Austria.
The researcher stepped out to withdraw some money from a local ATM when he spotted that the ATM’s card slide-in module had some glue on its side.
As a trained professional, and self-declared paranoid security researcher, Tedesco quickly smelled something fishy. Relying on his experience, he pulled a little bit at the slide-in module, and to his surprise, the card guide came off.
The card guide was actually a skimmer. Tedesco made a YouTube video (see below), and also took some pictures.
The lesson here is that you should always be on guard, especially in big tourism centers such as Vienna and other EU capitals.
The next time you’re in front of an ATM, do yourself a favor and look at the device, at how it looks. If you spot anything out of place, like glue or components sporting strange colors, just find another ATM.
If you like, you can follow the researcher and acquire a habit of lightly pulling at the slide-in module. You never know when it will fall off and expose a skimmer.
Additionally, you should also know that skimmers are also placed on top of the PIN pad, so inspect that component as well.