Electronic Pickpocketing – Check Your Credit Card

Channel 13 hosted a short segment on the risk of using RFID enabled credit and debit cards. RFID means the card broadcasts the sensitive information over radio frequency so the consumer just has to swipe the card near a reader to buy something. With this convenience comes the risk of a malicious party using a wireless sniffer to capture the same data. This means the malicious party can pick your pocket without having to touch the card IE they can capture the credit card data over the radio and print their own card. In the video, the presenter copies a capture credit card to his hotel room key and makes a purchase using room key with the stolen data as if it was the original credit card. It is pretty easy to do.

Imagine you are on a subway train and somebody walks by with a reader in his / her backpack. They potentially could capture multiple credit cards, walk over to a store, copy card data to a generic card and start buying things.

How do you protect yourself? you can use any form of metal such as tin foil to block the radio signal or ask for a credit / debit card that does not use RFID. Pull out your credit cards and see if they have the wireless symbol. You may be at risk.

Watch this video for more info and a demonstration of this attack.

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