Should we fear PayPass credit card hacking –

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Increasingly popular, bank cards offering PayPass (credit cards) and Flash (Interac cards) technologies use the radio frequency identification process, or RFID (for radio frequency identification).

You can use it to pay for a purchase contactless and without needing to enter your personal identification number (PIN).

The problem? By approaching you with a reader, a fraudster can capture your bank card information using the radio waves emitted by the RFID chip.

“When we talk about computer security, we always have to think about risk,” explains Patrick Boucher, president of Gardien Virtuel, a Quebec company specializing in computer security. Has it been proven that it is easy to defraud? The answer is yes. But should we nevertheless give in to panic? No.”

Limited consequences

According to Patrick Boucher, the risk of fraud is low. The consequences are limited because, as the Canadian Bankers Association points out, any purchase over $100 requires the PIN to be entered: “Thus if your card is lost or stolen, it will be impossible to use it to make purchases involving large sums of money.”

Furthermore, according to the Canadian Bankers Association, “the contactless card must be a few centimeters from the reader for the transaction to take place.” However, this short range makes remote access to data difficult for criminals, since they must get very close to you to increase their chances of succeeding in their operation.

Anti-fraud protection

If, despite these arguments, you are not reassured, the solution to protect yourself against fraud is ultimately quite simple: use an anti-RFID case (card holder, wallet, etc.), which is generally equipped with an aluminum film intended to block the signal emitted by the chip.

“I compare it to riding a bike. Wear a helmet or not? The risk exists with or without, but it is less great with, so I use one,” concludes Patrick Boucher.

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