Hack this card: How contactless payment cards could get whacked

As Visa, MasterCard and other credit card issuers begin rolling out more and more contactless payment cards - credit and debit cards with RFID chips embedded within them that communicate transaction information wirelessly - the question arises: Can these contactless payment cards be hacked? The answer, according to the folks I spoke to, is yes.

But the risk of that is probably pretty low for a several reasons. The real threat, if and when it comes, won't arise until card usage reaches critical mass. You can read about the security measures these cards use - and countermeasures hackers might use to subvert them - in Hacking Contactless Payment Cards. That story appears today, alongside this week's cover story about the prospects for contactless payment systems (See No Contact: Could smart phones spur contactless payment card adoption?).

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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