Stealing credit cards wirelessly

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 Credit card theft has always been a concern, but now with credit cards that use radio frequency chips or RFID, to complete transactions it is even safer for hackers to gain your credit card number. The hacker doesn’t have to upload data to your computer or try to break into a businesses or banks’ server. There is also no need for the hacker of trying to cover his/her tacks, because there is no way for you of knowing until it is too late. A down side for the hacker is that you can’t steal as many credit cards. Anyone can even purchase a RFID skimmer on the Internet for around $100.   

Even though most of the information is encrypted, it only took a year for a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts to break it. Now with authentication codes implemented it limits the hacker to only one transaction per card, if he can first break the encryption. This makes it less appealing to steal credit cards with RFID skimmers.   

The upside is the three-digit validation code on the back is not included as part of the RFID information. To better protect yourself, a company called Augustinowicz sells wallets to block incoming transmissions. You can even wrap your credit card in tin foil, which will do the same.  

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5 thoughts on “Stealing credit cards wirelessly

  1. I wonder if these same kind of attacks can happen on Google wallet. Personally I think credit cards are insecure enough with anymore additional “time saving” features. The possible sums of money you’ll lose out weigh the three seconds you’ll gain with this technology.

  2. Interestingly I’ve read about hacks like this almost two years ago. There were people walking around with the RFID scanners in their briefcases in subways and just picking up every ones information without them ever knowing. Makes you wonder if this technology will ever become more secure or if it will just be abandoned in credit cards.

    • Personally I think that it wont get abandoned. People like convenient things and this is just a faster way of checking out. It probably will get more secure as the years go on but we should know better that hackers always seem to be one step ahead.

  3. Its amazing that all of your information like that is just floating around waiting to be stolen. If it is that easy to steal someone’s information, then why isn’t there a more secure way to send credit card information? Also, are there any particular ways to protect yourself from these attacks?

  4. I honestly think that the concept of a wireless credit card is so silly. The fact that all of your info has to float between the card and the info submission point, and that during that transmission, any amount of the info on the card could be intercepted is absolutely terrifying. Sure, saving time with wireless gadgets is great, but not at the cost of your personal info and identity.

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