Scientists testing for card fraud on new contactless microchip debit and credit cards have found a critical flaw that could allow a criminal to steal up to $1 million just by coming into close contact with a person.
During a presentation at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Arizona on Monday, Newcastle University scientists presented a paper that showed flaws in microchip credit and debit cards. With the new microchip cards, users can just swipe the chip for transactions up to $31, for speed and convenience.
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However, researchers found the chips do not recognize limits with foreign currency transactions. Just by pre-setting the amount you want to transfer on a mobile phone, all it takes is a bump against another person’s pocket – where the card can communicate with something like a smartphone – to approve the release of hundreds of thousands in foreign currency. In tests conducted, these types of transactions took less than a second to be approved.