Cyber Thieves Picking Your Pocket?

It borders on "tin foil hat" territory but the vulnerablility is real. Many credit cards these days have an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip or "tag" embedded inside. It contains your credit card number and other personal details. The chips are "passive" meaning not powered, and in order to send a signal it must be placed in front of a reader at close range like a few inches. Plus the information is encrypted. But if a hacker got close enough to your wallet and was equipped with a special scanning device, the number COULD be stolen and read later. It got a couple of companies thinking about how to solve the problem, however unlikely or minor.

Of course RFID has plenty of handy uses like when driving through tolls or tracking inventory. But on Sunday night's Evening News we'll show you what a couple of entrepreneurs have created by lining wallets with a metal mesh shield to protect the information on credit cards. Mike Aiello from DIFRWear is one of them (get it?). Is it for the realm of the paranoid? In some ways, sure. But the potential for cyber thievery is there, says Johns Hopkins researcher Avi Rubin, who is known for his work on analyzing the security (or lack of it) with electronic voting. Finishing up the story tonight, and I hope you'll watch.

Next week will mark the debut of the Flip camera video, and I've got a special, work-related announcement to make on Monday, too. Stay connected!

  • Daniel Sieberg

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