renewable fuels industry also voiced concerns. Kristy Moore of
Growth Energy said the measure is a way to restrict E15 sales.
LOCKS OR ALARMS TO FIGHT SKIMMING
Discussion continued on a proposal
to restrict access to retail fuel dispensers.
Originally submitted during the 2018 interim meeting, the proposal aims to reduce
credit card skimming at fuel dispensers. The
rule would require dispensers to include a
physical lock to the interior or a device to
disable or sound an alarm upon unauthorized access.
Manufacturers said the proposal lacks
speci;cs. Retailers said more secure locks
and master keys are available on the aftermarket. The item remains in discussion.
CREDIT CARD SKIMMER TASK GROUP
The Credit Card Skimmer Task Group meeting in
Charleston discussed tools to ;ght credit card skimming.
Attendees examined skimmers to understand their advancement and sophistication. Some skimmers can compromise EMV-compliant chip cards and use tiny cameras to
record PIN entries.
Patrick Traynor, a professor from the Florida Institute for
Cybersecurity Research at the University of Florida, shared
data from skimmers found by Florida regulators and survey
results from 1,800 U.S. motorists about dispenser security
• 95 percent of found skimmers were behind a security
• 50 percent of skimmers were found within 1 mile of an
interstate; 90 percent were within 5 miles.
• 75 percent of motorists cannot identify a compromised
Traynor shared photos from the survey that show dispensers with broken or improperly applied security seals. In each
case, most respondents said they would “use this pump”
if buying gas. An exception was a pump with several seals,
which respondents perceived as suspect.
The fueling industry, Traynor said, has failed to educate
consumers, despite relying on them to prevent skimming
Traynor works with a group that is developing a proto-
type skimmer detector called the Skim Reaper. To judge its
effectiveness, experts downloaded and analyzed
common smartphone apps. Next, they tested and
reverse-engineered ;ve Android apps and two
One app worked, but of the seven apps
available at the time, none were worthy of
recommendation, Traynor said. Two did nothing
but display an ad. One is designed to detect a
Bluetooth skimmer, but ;awed programming
prevented it from working. One could detect a
Bluetooth skimmer — but only if thieves haven’t
recon;gured the chip or changed the name
broadcast by the device.
Crooks use other technologies to move skimmed data
from dispensers, too.
None of the current apps detected an internal skimmer
designed to transmit data via Wi-Fi or cellular text message.
If a skimmer stores its victims’ data “on board” on ;ash
memory, Traynor said, it is undetectable without a physical
search by a trained technician.
Dispenser cabinet breaches are compounded by the misuse of cabinet security seals and the prevalence of counterfeit
seals, Traynor said.
His efforts focus on skimmers that physically swipe a card’s
magnetic stripe. By detecting the millivoltage as a card passes
across the reader’s magnetic sensor, the Skim Reaper alerts its
user to the presence of a skimmer.
All of the research, Traynor said, emphasizes the need to
secure dispenser cabinet interiors on islands.
The 104th Annual Meeting of the National Conference
on Weights and Measures will be July 14-18 in Milwaukee.
J. Rex Brown is PEI’s director of information
technology and representative to the NCWM.
Reach him at email@example.com.
The Skim Reaper is a prototype
skimmer detector being tested.