EMV is not the panacea to our payments security problems. This isn’t exactly a revelation, but it is a message that is being consistently shared by organizations focused on security including the FBI.
“With technology advances and the significant increase in data breaches and identity theft from computer intrusions, we continue to see significant increases in credit card theft/fraud,” a representative from the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division Financial Crime Section told The Washington Times. “The new EMV chip cards were designed to help curtail credit card fraud; however, there are still vulnerabilities with these cards.”
Many of the vulnerabilities come from the continued prescence of the magnetic stripe, even on new chip-enabled cards.
U.S. chip cards are vulnerable because they also employ magnetic stripes so that businesses that have not yet made the transition to EMV technology can still access users’ credit data.
Thieves can easily exploit magnetic-stripe security weaknesses to counterfeit credit cards by using someone else’s personal information. They also can acquire account information by installing tiny card scanners inside card-swiping devices.
To prevent such a breach, credit card issuers eventually will have to provide EMV cards that have no stripe or stripe-scanning capabilities.
Overview by Alex Johnson, Senior Analyst, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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