Credit Card Readers Harvest Your Info For Thieves

By Amir Khan on July 31, 2012 12:36 PM EDT

Credit Card
Credit card readers at stores can be harvesting your information for thieves-- without either you or the store knowing about it. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Credit card readers at stores can be harvesting your information for thieves-- without either you or the store knowing about it. A UK-based security company found that thieves can reprogram the machines with a swipe of a card and collect information from everyone who has used it.

The firm MWR InfoSecurity found that hackers can reprogram chip and PIN machines to grab customer's credit card information, and said that all machines sitting in shops and restaurants need to be reprogrammed to fix the flaw.

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The security firm purchased secondhand terminals on eBay and accessed its code. From there, they were able to generate a card that looks like a credit card that can reprogram the machine to store all data once swiped. After that, it's a simple matter of swiping another card to retrieve all the information.

Verifone said they are working on a fix for this security flaw.

"We have confirmed that MWR implemented a sophisticated scenario that is technically feasible on some older systems," Verifone, maker of the chip and PIN terminals, said, according to Channel4 News. "VeriFone has developed a software update to resolve this issue in deployed systems and has already submitted the code for testing and approval on an expedited basis."

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