Sometimes high tech personal identification is “too smart by half”. The New York Times reports on how easy it is to hack no-swipe ( RFID ) credit cards and retrieve the personal identification information that is encoded on the cards.
From the article —
Tom Heydt-Benjamin tapped an envelope against a black plastic box connected to his computer. Within moments, the screen showed a garbled string of characters that included this: fu/kevine, along with some numbers.
Mr. Heydt-Benjamin then ripped open the envelope. Inside was a credit card, fresh from the issuing bank. The card bore the name of Kevin E. Fu, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who was standing nearby. The card number and expiration date matched those numbers on the screen.
The demonstration revealed potential security and privacy holes in a new generation of credit cards — cards whose data is relayed by radio waves without need of a signature or physical swiping through a machine.