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Skimmers, Shimmers, Porch Pirates & Video Surveillance


November 20, 2018

Fraud and theft seem to be everywhere these days. And they cover everything from high-stakes white collar crime to creating customer accounts without their knowledge to identity theft to stealing via ATM card skimmers to porch pirates.

An online survey this year by The Harris Poll estimates nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft. Nearly 15 million consumers had their identities stolen last year alone – to the tune of $16.8 billion.

Meanwhile ATM card skimming is a more than $2 billion problem. In 2016, FICO says, there was a 70 percent increase in the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs and merchant card readers.

And now there’s a new version of ATM card skimmers known as shimmers. They are smaller versions of skimmers. And they can read data from new chip-based credit and debit cards.

“One recent raid saw $13.5m stolen from India’s Cosmos Bank,” DieboldNixdorf reported earlier this month. “But this was certainly not the first such cyber-attack,” it added, “in 2013, cyber-criminals stole $45m from ATMs, and in 2016 over $12m was taken from cashpoints in Japan using cards cloned from a South African bank. That’s not to mention the activity of the infamous Carbanak gang, said to have been responsible for as much as $1bn in theft from banks around the world, using different attack methods also including the ATM as the cash-out point.”

That’s one reason why financial institutions and others with ATMs and point-of-sale operations are investing in surveillance cameras and related data analytics to makes video footage easier to review and search, and can be employed to send alerts when certain situations occur.

Tools like Verint’s (News - Alert) Op-Center help organizations that do video surveillance to manage their video recorder deployments. “Op-Center rapidly identifies potential malfunctions and camera obstructions, with remote diagnostics for large NVR deployments,” the company explains. “Users can rapidly scan the status of all NVRs on a user-friendly dashboard and verify that cameras have not been moved or their views obscured. Op-Center also helps reinforce operational standards and uniformity in large-scale operations for more consistent, reliable performance.”

Consumer video surveillance is a large and growing market as well.

Earlier this month IHS (News - Alert) Markit reported that the consumer video surveillance market will top $1 billion this year. “Acceptance of video surveillance for the home has grown, in part because people now have more control over their surveillance systems,” said Blake Kozak, an analyst at the company. “Users of network systems can log in and view footage using their smartphones, share clips via social media or speak to their families through two-way audio-enabled cameras. Cameras are becoming a gateway into the home, expanding their use beyond just security.”

He also noted the importance of analytics, camera resolution, and the transition of 4K in driving consumer video surveillance forward. And he added that deep learning, which he said is one of the fastest growing subsets of artificial intelligence, will expand what’s possible with analytics and interpretation relative to video surveillance.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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