Tag Archives: Banking

Smart card security on the radio

Smart card security doesn’t often get on traditional media, so we can all (at least, the French-spaking ones) be happy that France Culture will spend an hour discussing the security of payment cards, trying to provide an answer to the question “Comment améliorer la sécurité des cartes bancaires?“. Among the speakers, we will have Jean-Louis […]

Chip And PIN Is Broken (A Little)

By now, there has been sufficient hype around Ross Anderson’s latest attack on EMV banking cards. Once again, the Cambridge guys have scored a good one here, as the simplicity of the attack is outright incredible: Intercept the PIN Presentation command, make the terminal believe that the PIN is correct (i.e., return Status Word 9000), […]

Chip cards for (some) Americans

It seems that the American plastic cards are getting them in trouble, at least when they travel in Europe. Of course, cards without chips still work perfeectly in restaurants, hotels, and stores. However, things are very different at automated machines. If you are in France and you want to pay for underground parking, for renting […]

Buying on Internet with fake card numbers

One would think that buying real goods on Internet with fake card numbers is not possible today. After all, there are many countermeasures that are quite hard to defeat, among which: You need to provide a 3/4 digit security code that is written on your card, and that is some kind of digital signature of […]

A strange device from Switzerland

10 years ago, IBM Research used to have a team working on Java Card in Zurich. IBM sold their Java Card activity to NXP, but the team still exists, and it announced last year a strange device, the ZTIC. This is a device for securing banking transactions. In the example they insist on, they focus […]

Hackers want your PIN code

Wired is running a nice story about hackers that may be able to steal PIN codes during ATM transactions. The nice part of the story is of course the way in which these guys steal the codes. Since the story takes place in the USA, there is no smart card involved. The PIN codes are […]

Secure magstripe?

Visa seems to be investigating a new way to use magnetic stripe cards. The article does not give much details, but the basic idea seems to be that the magnetic stripe is scanned with a high definition, which provides a “unique” pattern, which Visa compares to the DNA or fingerprint of the card. Of course, […]

Card readers for online banking

A few weeks ago, Cambridge’s team of security researchers published a paper about the small card readers that are currently being deployed as a way to make online banking more secure. Their article is quite critical, and I would just like to review the vulnerabilities that they mention, because I don’t think that these products […]

Cloned debit cards are good for secure EMV cards

Reports about cloning debit cards have been all around, for instance here. The combination of cloning cards and making millions with a fraud scheme instantly makes smart card people happy: we told you that your magstripe cards would lead to big problems! OK. But let’s try to analyze this a bit deeper.