PetaPixel

Here’s How iPhone Thermal Cameras Can Be Used to Steal Your Pin Codes

There are a lot of great, fun, and interesting things people can do with an iPhone and that FLIR ‘predator vision’ infrared camera case we told you about at the beginning of this year. But, as it turns out, there is also a very bad thing people can do.

Using just an iPhone and the Thermal camera case, people can actually steal your PIN codes, be that for an ATM or that keypad on your car or garage door.

A newly-emerging security risk, you can see how easily it’s done in the video above by YouTuber Mark Rober. Without anybody being the wiser, he simply steps up to the pin pad after someone else has used it and snaps a thermal picture.

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Because someone JUST got done using it, the keys they pressed will be glowing. And what’s more, because the heat signature begins fading as time goes by (even after just a few seconds) the thief can tell what order the keys were pressed in.

Fortunately, there’s a way to protect yourself so the bad guy in this scenario can’t steal your garage door or front door code after you go in the house: just rest other fingers on the rest of the keypad while you type.

That way the picture comes out like this:

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It’s sad to think that making awesome camera tech accessible to all breeds creative new thievery, but as you can see, it doesn’t take much to protect yourself from it.

And now that you know that, you can go back to watching awesome IR footage like this Formula One car burnout video without worrying that the person behind you at the supermarket is there to pick up more than those mints.


 
  • disqus_6pL11jageg

    Actually, they DON’T have to have the physical card. Just had this happen to us. They install a swiper to pick up the number, have a machine right there that will put the number on a dummy card, and get your pin through the photo. Instant access to your money right away.