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Chip & PIN Tetris hackers can steal credit card info, too

Darren Murph
February 7, 2007
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Hacking into sensitive machines and playing brain games on them certainly isn't new -- and a pair of researchers at Cambridge have already done just that on a "tamper-proof chip-and-PIN payment terminal," -- but in a recent (and more serious) development, they've extended the exploit to demonstrate how they can "compromise the system by relaying information between a genuine card and a fake one." Saar Drimer and Steven Murdoch, members of the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, have not only played Tetris on a banking machine, but have devised a scenario where a terminal is actually connected to a thief's laptop (instead of a bank, for instance), thus passing through crucial information without throwing a red flag to the now-screwed customer. Through a series of RFID, WiFi, and SMS connections, the duo even explains how something so simple could be used to steal thousands of dollars in diamonds and jewelry if working with a trained crew. Still, it's noted that this kind of stunt would be "difficult to execute in practice," and of course, whoever tries it runs the risk of being imprisoned for quite some time, but if you're interested in an eerily detailed description of just how beautiful you life can become if you actually pull this off, the read link demands your attention.

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