Hackers Can Purchase Tool to Steal Data From RFID Enabled Credit Cards for as Little as $8

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Credit cards, drivers' licenses, corporate ids, university ids, speed passes and passports now contain RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. Why should you care? Because criminals have discovered that electronic devices known as Radio Frequency Readers (or Remote Frequency Readers) readily available on the web for less than $100.00, can scan, skim or "sniff" your personal information from you -without your knowledge

How to hack RFID-enabled credit cards for $8

A number of credit card companies now issue credit cards with embedded RFIDs (radio frequency ID tags), with promises of enhanced security and speedy transactions.

But on today's episode of Boing Boing Tv, hacker and inventor Pablos Holman shows Xeni how you can use about $8 worth of gear bought on eBay to read personal data from those credit cards -- cardholder name, credit card number, and whatever else your bank embeds in this manner.

Fears over data leaks from RFID-enabled cards aren't new, and some argue they're overblown -- but this demo shows just how cheap and easy the "sniffing" can be.

What can you do about it?

With radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags being embedded in everything from quick-pay credit cards to the new U.S. passports, "skimming" is has now become a chosen method for criminals to perpetrate identity theft and other more dangerous crimes. Innovative criminals have installed RF readers on ATM's, embedded them in carpet, and hidden them on store shelves. Criminals may be disguised as your pleasant waiter or friendly cashier, just waiting to swipe more than your credit card with one of these hidden devices. When you've been "skimmed" and "scammed" -odds are you won't know about it... until the damage has already been done.Aside from using tin foil or duct tape to hide your identifying information, here's a few websites that offer products, services or additional educational resources.

Purchase a RFID protective wallet. Companies like Magellan's carry protective wallets that will hold your passport, driver's license, and credit cards that block RFID reading technology. This gives you the ability to control when, how and who accesses your data.

As always, it's much better to be proactive than it is to be reactive. Spending a little money now, just may save you a lot of money, time and headaches later. 

For more information about radio-frequency technology and to read RFID Position Statement of Consumer Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations visit privacyrights.org.

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Hello Denise

Many thanks for raising awareness about this area of RFID technology, and for plugging a few of the various companies that are able to provide shielding solutions.

Our view is that technology is essentially 'neutral' – by this we mean that it is neither ‘good’, nor ‘bad’. However how technology is used by mankind is what exposes its strength or weaknesses.

For those that are even the slightest bit concerned, for peace of mind our company (rfidprotect.co.uk) can provide a very real measure of protection for those individuals who view RFID information theft as the next major crime wave to hit the UK. We're also keen to share information about strategies that can be used to tackle ID theft, we have a partnership in place with law enforcement specialists (Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust) and RFID Protect also tries hard to monitor the very latest developments in our sector; providing relevant case studies, research and other links for those that wish to learn more about all things RFID. Thanks for raising awareness in your article - it's a really interesting development, and one that we feel is going to move 'centre stage' over then next few years.

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