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Magnetic stripe cards & PIN

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by tuna27, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Hi, I'm teaching IGCSE ICT, in our syllabus we differentiate between the two types of payment cards, Cards with magnetic stripe and cards with a chip, we always say to our students that cards with chip is more secure because it requires the PIN to verify the owner. but using the first type only requires a signiture. this PIN is saved inside the chip,
    nowadays some of the cards with magnetic stripe is requiring to enter a PIN too. so my question is :Does the PIN also saved inside the magnetic stripe?
     
  2. Hi, I'm teaching IGCSE ICT, in our syllabus we differentiate between the two types of payment cards, Cards with magnetic stripe and cards with a chip, we always say to our students that cards with chip is more secure because it requires the PIN to verify the owner. but using the first type only requires a signiture. this PIN is saved inside the chip,
    nowadays some of the cards with magnetic stripe is requiring to enter a PIN too. so my question is :Does the PIN also saved inside the magnetic stripe?
     
  3. Surely the reason that the chip is more secure is that it is harder to read, interpret and clone, whereas you can get hardware to clone magstripes cheaply ?
     
  4. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

  5. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    @madcat - useful link thanks.
    My personal view is the mag-stripes are actually more secure - you used to have to give the cashier the card which said MR/MRS etc on it - this prevented 50% of possible theft.
    I used to work in Tandy (remember them?) and would make about £400 from the card companies for catching stolen cards over the Christmas period.
     
  6. I've never thought the Chip and Pin was worth anything much, other than allowing the banks to blame the account holders for losses.
    It's worse since 2008 because many (all ?) banks now give you those little card readers. Inside that there is the secret of the PIN - give it a card and a PIN and it'll tell you if it is right or not.
    Hence the system must be able to read the chip/stripe and test the PIN or the system tells the chip the PIN and allows it to detect right or wrong.
    Either way it supplies crackers with masses of free hardware. These things are mass produced and are presumably some form of custom build microcontroller (though given banks security it wouldn't surprise me to find a 16F84)
    The people who crack these things are very clever ; to the extent of removing the top of the chip and tracing the silicon tracks, that sort of stuff. Huge amount of work, yes, but think of the reward.
    This is not allowing for route B, these things are mass produced somewhere, thus allowing code to be bribed/stolen/leaked/whatever.
     
  7. That link is brilliant - the youtube video of the supposedly tamper proof chip and pin machine playing Tetris is a hoot.

     

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