Credit card thieves could still counterfeit despite chip technology, researchers say

The chip in credit cards, which has been praised as a security feature that nearly eliminates counterfeiting, could be useless if credit card thieves manipulate the card's magnetic strip to make the chip seem nonexistent. File Photo by Tiramisu Studio/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) — Computer researchers have found that thieves could continue to counterfeit credit cards by making the chip security feature seem nonexistent.

Researchers at NCR Corporation, a credit card processing technology company, discovered the EMV chip-based system, which has been praised for making it difficult to counterfeit credit cards, could be jeopardized by credit card thieves if they rewrite the code in the card’s magnetic strip, which is supposed to tell payment machines to use the chip, to appear the card has no chip at all.

“There’s a common misperception EMV solves everything. It doesn’t,” NCR researcher Patrick Watson told CNNMoney.

Banks forced many retailers to switch to using the chip as a security feature. The National Retail Federation has criticized the upgrade, which is estimated to have cost American retailers about $25 billion. Many retailers are still working to upgrade payment machines with the latest security features, such as transaction encryption, so many credit cards are still at risk.


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