Cyberspace now faces unbelievably new threats; thousands of people are scammed of their hard-earned money daily. These scammers get creative with their methods, and trying to keep up may be difficult. However, getting informed is still a valid way to do that, and here is an article on one of many fraudsters’ techniques – shimming. Find out what is shimming in cyber security, its significance, and ways to protect yourself against it now or in the future. 

Shimming in Cyber Security Definition

Shimming meaning in cyber security is when a scammer targets a device or system’s security measures. It involves attacking a system by inserting an external layer between its operating system and application to gain control and steal information, especially credit card details. This external layer or gadget is often called a “shim.” 

How Can Shimming Impact Your Cyber Security?

As aforementioned, Shimming cybersecurity is a technique that involves inserting a malicious gadget or layer into a legitimate process to gain unlawful information. Unfortunately, this technique significantly impacts cyber security, as criminals can gain personal data such as your credit card number, passcodes, email address, full name, etc. In the worst case, it allows scammers to install malware on your application or system to gain control of other devices.

The problem is that with stolen data, scammers can commit all sorts of crimes. For instance, fraudsters use personal details to obtain new credit cards or max out an existing one. In fact, due to shimming attacks, there is an increase in the rate of identity theft. 

How Does Shimming Work?

Simply said, shimming in cyber security involves placing a gadget or shim device on an ATM or card reader to steal credit or debit card information. Generally, two types of this fraudulent technique impact cyber security – card shimming and application shimming.

  • Card shimming 

It is the most common type of shimming. It involves placing the thin device on an existing payment terminal (ATM or Point-of-Sale (POS)) to intercept magnetic stripes and obtain customer data when swiping their debit or credit cards. Card shimming is common among Europay, Visa, and Mastercard chip cardholders. 

  • Application Shimming

It involves introducing malware via codes into an application’s operating system, especially Windows. Scammers do this to get unauthorized access to the device. 

Due to the increase in shimming attacks, some card providers invested in EMV chip cards. These new sets of cards make it difficult for thieves to steal card information at gas terminals or ATM stations. Today, only a few retail or gas pump stations have payment terminals requiring people to swipe credit or debit cards. 

What Is the Difference Between Skimming and Shimming?

What is shimming attack?” and “What is skimming?

These two questions have come up quite a lot. However, while both require using small devices (or gadgets) around ATMs, POS, or other payment terminals to steal details, their mechanism differs. Skimming is more sophisticated than Shimming. 

Skimming is a data fraud technique involving scammers unlawfully placing the gadget in POS or ATMs to record passwords or produce fake charges. The whole mechanism of operation is to hijack the credit card process to read and steal data during transactions. 

On the other hand, Shimming involves stealing a person’s card information off the chip’s magnetic stripes. It works in such a way that the gadget peruses the card, selects useful information, and remotely offloads data into its radio module. 

In short, Shimming is a type of Skimming. 

How Can You Protect Yourself From Shimming?

Shim in cyber security is a real threat, and taking every measure to protect yourself is advised. Here are some effective ways to protect yourself from it. 

  • Invest in Anti-Shimming Attack Security Plus Technology

Anti-shimming involves taking effective strategies from allowing thieves to insert malicious code into an application’s operating system. It is a good way of safeguarding personal data, so creating a new chip card from a stolen one is impossible. Anti-shimming attack security + is a great recommendation as it uses a mechanism where it becomes impossible for the shim device to attach to the payment terminal. 

  • Use EMV Cards

Using the new EMV cards is also another pleasant way of prevention. These cards are encoded with the latest encryption technology that develops varying confirmation values for the chip cards and the magnetic stripes. That means a card’s generated integrated card validation code (ICVC) will differ from the CVV. So, in an attempt to use card information, it will be impossible. 

  • Be Up-to-Date with Security Patches

Another way to protect yourself from a shimmer is to get the most recent security patches on your system or application. A shim does peruse the system and steal available data; however, with good security measures and strong passwords, it would be almost impossible. As often said, only the most vulnerable systems are breached. 

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication

While adding the most recent security patch, you should also consider adopting two-factor authentication. It is a popular security protocol most cyber experts recommend to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information. That means it would be impossible for shimmers to gain access and insert malicious code into a legitimate process or app without your knowledge. 

  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Alongside two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication is an additional security measure to prevent this fraudsters’ technique. It is an extra layer of security recommended to protect personal credentials by ensuring it is impossible to guess passwords or usernames and access data. You can add this authentication technology to your mobile device or personal computer.

How Can Radaris Help?

Knowing how your data is collected and used is important. The understanding helps prevent a shim attack and allows you to adopt effective strategies to protect yourself from any occurrence. is a useful tool to ensure that you can actively monitor data collection, use, and availability on the internet.

Radaris is an open-source tool that can provide nearly accurate details about anyone online. It leverages digital footprints across various public sources, helping people reveal what others can see about them online. So, if your sensitive information is online, Radaris will show it so that you can minimize how thieves get and use unlawfully obtained data. 


The world of cybersecurity constantly keeps getting challenged with creatively new techniques by hackers, scammers, and thieves. Shimming is one of many, and the incessant reports of identity theft and financial losses have inspired tech-savvies to reorientate people on protecting themselves. This article explains how it works and the various protective ways to adopt to avoid becoming a victim. More importantly, it suggests using Radaris software to verify the amount of personal information available online that thieves could use for the wrong reasons. Overall, invest in good security and constantly keep being updated to avoid data breaches. 


What Are Main Shimming Techniques?

Shimming takes different forms even when divided into two types – card and application ones. The commonest techniques are image hacking, process hollowing, and DLL injection.

How Can I Detect Shimming Activity?

A shimming attack may be unnoticeable if you don’t know about it. However, it usually comes in the form of unfamiliar apks or processes, irregular updates to files, and the appearance of strange geo-based codes. They are the commonest red flags. 

How Can I Remove Shimming Malware?

Such malware may not be observed at first, but if you discover one, you should use an anti-malware or anti-virus. Quite a list of options is available online to use. 

What Is the Difference Between Shimming and Spoofing?

Shimming involves inserting malicious codes into a legitimate application or process, while Spoofing is impersonating a legitimate application or process. Either way, both techniques aim to bypass security systems.

What Is the Difference Between Shimming and Code Injection?

Shimming and Code Injection are two similar processes with different insertion techniques. Shimming inserts code into an API or a library, while Code Injection inserts malicious code directly into the apk or process. 

What Is the Difference Between Shimming and DLL Injection?

DLL injection is almost similar to Code Injection. It also inserts malicious code into the process, while Shimming inserts into the system’s library or API. 

What Is the Difference Between Shimming and Process Hollowing?

Process Hollowing is quite different, but the result remains to replace a legitimate process by inserting a code. So, as shimming introduces a code into the API or library, process hollowing changes the whole legitimate process. 

What Is the Difference Between Shimming and Image Hijacking?

Image Hacking also involves malicious code insertion into a legitimate process or application to gain access to personal data or systems. It is a type of shimming technique where the code is inserted into the whole process instead of the API or system library.