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Security Specialist Amps Up Credit Card Protection as Visa and Mastercard Launch Chip Cards in US

Fears of identity theft and digital pickpocketing skyrocket as America makes the shift to digitally enhanced debit, credit and ID cards.

Digital security Specialist VAULT announced this week that they are pushing to manufacture more credit card and passport protection sleeves than in preparation for the fall 2015 shift to digitally enhanced cards in the US.

While this doesn’t look like big news, it’s a sure sign of things to come as the US braces for the biggest wave of electronic pick-pocketing ever to hit North America. And VAULT is not the only one preparing. Scanners capable of lifting data from RFID chip enhanced cards are easier and cheaper to access than every before, and flying off the internet sites like eBay in record numbers.

Brian Markus, CEO of Aries Security, warned as early as 2009 (Wired Magazine coverage of chips in use outside the US), “There are people… all over the place, with RFID readers in backpacks. For $30 to $50, the common, average person can put a portable RFID-reading kit together…. This is why we’re so adamant about making people aware this is very dangerous. If you don’t protect yourself, you’re potentially exposing your entire [company or agency] to all sorts of risk.”

An attacker with a portable reader in a backpack can scan cards at hotels, malls, restaurants, and on subways. A more targeted attack could involve someone simply positioned outside a specific company or federal facility, scanning employees as they enter or leave and cloning the cards.

According to Leo Hamel at VAULT, “It takes a few milliseconds to read a chip and, depending on what equipment you’ve got, electronic pick-pocketing can take as little as 1 minute. There are even apps that can turn a smart phone into a digital scanner. People are getting that protection is important, and we are challenging ourselves to meet their demand for product.”

VAULT is not the only company under pressure, merchants are also scrambling to install new technology at the cash register to accept the cards, spending billions of dollars on upgrades. A payment-industry group estimates that roughly half of U.S. merchant terminals will be ready to accept the new chip cards by the end of 2015, representing 80% of U.S. purchases.

According to Hamel, VAULT will maintain their special pricing, but only while quantities last. When asked about their ability to meet demand, Hamel replied “Well, pricing may increase if we are forced to turn around and manufacture huge amounts of product very quickly.”

Vault Credit Card and Passport sleeves (set of 10 credit card and two passport) are available exclusively at Check our Handpicked page to order

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