New gadget can clone 15 contactless cards a second
Mon 13 Jun 2016
A new scanner device is being sold on the black market to thieves looking to steal personal information from contactless payment cards, including bank account details, names and addresses.
The gadget is able to capture credit and debit card numbers, and can read other personal information displayed on the cards. In some cases, mini-statements can also be accessed. This data is then transferred onto a blank card which the criminals can use to purchase goods at the victim’s expense.
Named the Contactless Infusion X5, the device can be used remotely and specifically targets contactless cards and mobile payment services, such as Apple Pay. It is able to swipe encrypted data from as many as 15 bank cards every second.
According to the Daily Star, ‘con kits’, which include the device, software and 20 blank chipped credit cards, are being sold on London and south east UK black markets for £500.
A fraudster told the Star: ‘This is the first contactless bank card hacker being sold on the black market. We designed and developed it. It can read any bank card from 8cm away and will read 1,024 bytes per second, which is equivalent to 15 bank cards per second.
‘All you have to do is be in close proximity to groups of people with contactless cards – that’s around half of all debit card holders – and you’re in.’
Statistics from the UK Card Association reveal that there are currently a total of 86.5 million contactless cards in issue in the UK today. This March £1,508.4 million was spent using contactless cards – an increase of 249.9% over the previous year.
The boom is thought to be the result of the ‘tap and go’ payment limit rising from £20 to £30 last September. The figure has also been boosted as banks begin to roll out contactless cards as default when replacing customers’ expired cards, or if they are lost or stolen.