How to “TARGET” 40 million credit and debit cards with a Target Breach

The large retail chain Target (USA)  announced last week that about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been affected in a Target data breach from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15. Stolen information related to Target store cards and major credit cards, The Associated Press reported.

This breach was for in-store purchases not online according to Target.

This leads me to the reason for this post today.

Now you may or may not have been affected by this breach, but what is about to happen to the US credit cards & debit cards over the next 2 years you should be aware of.

The US plans to have all credit cards issued with the chip by 2015, many if not all as we have here in Australia will be RFID enabled.

The global roll-out of RFID (radio frequency identification) technologies used in the ‘Tap&Go’ credit cards or ePassports increases the chance of your personal data getting skimmed will be even greater.

The frightening thing is you will be not aware of it as no contact is needed to skim you nor will it be a breach of millions of credit cards, it will be yours and you will not find out until it’s too late.

As mentioned in the video, even with this know widespread breach the hassle at the very least to you as a cardholder is very real and could take some time to try and rectify the issues it has created for you.

I thought ‘chip’ or EMV cards are safer?

The financial institutions & card issuing companies tell us they are more secure than the mag stripe, which in many ways they may be, however, they have replaced one vulnerable technology with another. (yes a mag stripe card can be copied, but the criminal has to actually have the card in their possession to clone it even if for just a few seconds it takes to swipe the mag stripe, with the new RFID, enabled cards the criminal can electronically skim your card data without you ever knowing it)

This opens up an entirely new security issue as RFID enabled cards just by the nature of the technology are always open to transmitting your personal data over open airwaves & that means anyone & I mean anyone can skim it. In-fact many smartphones now come with NFC (near field communication) technology-enabled, which means they can in effect be used to skim your cards easy, just do a search in the google play store for credit card skimming apps and there are FREE ones to download.

Although NFC means you have to me ‘Nearer’ the mark (person your skimming) that usually is not an issue, think being in a shopping mall on an escalator in close proximity to others, bang a perfect way to use your NFC phone to skim the person wallet in there back pocket. Pretty scary when you think of how many smartphones are out there & how now not even harden ID thieves but opportunistic persons could skim your data that easy.

Now back to RFID technology (which allows you skim from a greater distance) you can buy a RFID off say eBay or Amazon for under $100, then its pretty easy to find a way to dial up the power on the reader and antenna strength (just google search how to do it) and now you can skim people from further away & if they are using ‘passive’ protection lets say like an RFID wallet or wrapping your credit cards in sleeves they can often still be penetrated by these hi powered reader (at the best they may limit the distance you get skimmed but you still could be skimmed)

The best defence is active defence.

1. Don’t just believe it will never happen to you

2. Don’t just blindly believe the institutions who issue these cards have your security interests in the best interest.

3. The time has come for you to be responsible for protecting your personal data, clearly, these breaches and the new wave of electronic skimming shows you that your personal data needs to be protected by you first. Gone are the days of working to have your data public when needed (PR) now you have to work to keep your personal data private.

It starts with ARMOURCARD the #1 Active RFID & NFC Protective device.