A German engineer was sentenced to three years in jail on Friday after he was found transporting card skimming technology into Britain according to a report from Reuters UK.
Thomas Beeckmann, 26, was stopped at London’s Victoria Coach Station in June with 17 electronic scamming circuits. The devices could’ve stolen £150 million a year if they were affixed to automatic teller machines (ATMs) according to the report.
Beeckmann, who had been working as a software expert in Thailand, was jailed for owning the circuits and later for refusing to disclose the password for his personal computer, a crime in the UK under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Card skimming has become a common practice for criminals in the last few years as attackers install their devices onto ATMs, wait and reap the rewards. According to reports, Beeckmann’s altered circuits could have been reintroduced into the supply chain. Once installed, they could be used to remotely monitor ATM devices via Bluetooth. Victims’ banking information could be transmitted to an attackers mobile phone or laptop, from 100 feet away, in real time.