In Worrisome Development, ‘Skimmers’ Hack Gas Pumps to Read Credit Cards

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A “skimmer” circuit board found inside a gas pump in San Diego County. Courtesy San Diego County Agriculture, Weights and Measures

A former San Diego Police Officer, Larry Avrech, had gotten a heads up from another former cop about keys being sold on the Internet that could open up gas pumps. Their first question was, is this legal?

Their second question was, why would anyone want to open up a gas pump?

The images Avrech found online showed two “gas pump replacement lock keys.”

The answer comes from Brian Krebs, a former newspaper reporter who is an expert on computers and Internet security. 

“For decades, only a handful of master keys were needed to open the vast majority of pumps in America,” Krebs said. “That has changed, but I bet there are some older stations that haven’t yet updated their locks.”