I am studying for a computer security certification test that I will take in August. Last night I was reading a chapter in my security book about Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). My wife asked me had I heard about what happened to a lady at a local gas station. I did not know what she was talking about. She pulled up the story on her tablet. A customer was outside a local gas station and had her credit card information stolen. Her card never left her pocket. The thieves used RFID equipment to steal her information.
To make things easier and faster for consumers, more credit card companies are creating cards that have an RFID microchip in them. The RFID chip stores all the account information needed to complete a transaction. Now you can pay for purchases just by tapping your card on the electronic reader in the store, no more swiping. Convenience often comes with a price. The problem is RFID enabled cards are ALWAYS transmitting data. All a crook needs is a smartphone, the right app and an electronic sniffer and he can steal your card number, name, and expiration date. He just has to be close enough to you for a few seconds. In the case of the victim at the gas station, only a hug was required.
For crooks that are not very motivated and don’t feel like putting together their own card data stealing system; complete kits can be purchased on the Internet for $100.
Click on this link to read the story about the lady at the gas station.
Click on this link for products you can buy to protect yourself.
John L. Jones