Feeds

Chip and PIN card security compromised (again)

Relay attack hands baton to fraudsters

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Doctored payment machines could be used to lift confidential authorisation codes from Chip and PIN credit and debit cards, security researchers at Cambridge University have discovered.

Shoppers attempting to use fake terminals to make purchases might unwittingly allow scammers to hijack details and make fraudulent purchases using counterfeit cards at another shop. Card identity codes would be sent wirelessly from crooks running fake terminals to accomplices buying goods so that fake cards are accepted as genuine. The PIN is then sent from the fake terminal to the accomplice so fraudulent purchases can be authorised.

Fraudsters inside a store need to insert cards into a tampered machine without detection and inform their accomplices to stand by for the attack to succeed.

Cambridge University researchers are due to demonstrate the attack on Tuesday's edition of the BBC's consumer rights magazine show Watchdog. The programme features a demo of a cardholder's details being intercepted during a transaction in a book shop and sent to an accomplice via a wireless connection.

UK banking association APACS played down the threat of the attack by saying there's no evidence that the technique has been applied to make fraudulent purchases. "I think we should be more concerned about other types of fraud - there is no evidence that this is about to happen," Apacs' Sandra Quinn told the BBC.

Cambridge University researcher Steven J Murdoch agrees that it's unlikely criminals are currently using this so-called "Chip & Spin" attack, since the next-generation cards remain open to less sophisticated attacks. But, he argues that defences against the attack ought to be applied sooner rather than later to prevent relay attacks becoming a significant cause of fraud in the future. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.