New ActivEdge Card Reader Defeats Skimmers

Diebold Inc.’s new ActivEdge™ Secure Card Reader is one attempt to stop identity theft at the terminal.  ActivEdge reads the credit/debit card via an internal motorized head that moves along the top edge of the card, which is inserted lengthwise in.  Diebold says the ActivEdge will:

• Prevent External Skimming devices from reading card data by requiring long-edge card insertion.
• Mitigate Internal Skimming through modification of the card reader with an encrypting read head.
• Eliminate capture and tracking of card data via USB Sniffing by encrypting communication to the CPU.
• Deter full Card Reader Substitution by pairing each ActivEdge™ card reader to a specific terminal.

ActivEdge prevents the card being scanned during its insertion and extraction.  It further secures the transaction by having an encrypted transmission of the card information, which stops external sniffing and interception by devices added on inside the machine.

This is just one of many advancements that the banking and retail industries are considering to combat the growing losses to credit/debit card fraud.  I think we are approaching a tipping point where financial institutions will need to stop absorbing the losses and get serious about securing their transactions.

While this will help with security at point of sale and limit theft of electronic information from stores, it does not address the larger problem of data breaches at the corporate level.  The ActivEdge would be just part of a larger arsenal to keep our money safe.



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