RFID-blocking blazer and jeans could stop wireless identity theft
Wed 17 Dec 2014
A pair of trousers and blazer have been developed by San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand and anti-virus group Norton that are able to prevent identity theft by blocking wireless signals.
The READY Active Jeans and the Work-It Blazer contain RFID-blocking fabric within the pockets’ lining designed to prevent hacking through radio frequency identification (RFID) signals emitted from e-passports and contactless payment card chips.
According to the clothing brand, this form of hacking is an increasing threat, with “more than 10 million identities digitally pick pocketed every year [and] 70% of all credit cards vulnerable to such attacks” by 2015.
Due to go on sale in February of next year, the trousers will retail at £96, and the blazer will be priced at £126.
Other such initiatives include Disklab’s RFID-blocking wallets which will launch in the new year. “There is technology readily available for anyone to snatch other people’s credit and debit card data within seconds,” said Simon Steggles CEO at Disklabs. “These apps simply copy the card with all the information on it,” he explained.
Disklab has also released a bag which can block mobile signals. This technology has seen particular use by police who store mobile phones taken from suspects, concerned that evidence held on the mobile devices could be wiped remotely.
Hacker and founder of Pen Test Partners Ken Munro has explained that “if we are not explicitly blocking these signals there are a lot of things that can go wrong, from stealing contactless payment card details to more life-threatening issues.”
Munro suggested that this preventative technology must be developed quickly as the popularity of wearable devices increases and RFID is used more frequently in wearable insulin pumps and defibrillators.
“These are the devices where tampering or hacking over radio frequency could be life-threatening […] I’m not sure that medical device manufacturers have given enough thought to security,” said Munro.