In Britain, a recently introduced security system designed to prevent fraud has been found to have potential flaws.
Information security specialist Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University demonstrated it is possible to read the four digit personal identification number on bank cards and then make copies which can be used to withdraw cash. He said: “The system isn’t secure at all. Debit card fraud is a 100 million pound (146 million euros) a year industry and there’s no signs of it abating. What we’ve show in practice is that a number of attacks that we previously knew were possible in theory are actually fairly easy to do.”
The experts explained fraud is possible because the UK opted for a cheaper system than other European countries which does not always check online with the originating bank to confirm the card is genuine. Fraud victim Alex Harvey, said she no longer trusts the system: “I am horrified and I think that banks are no longer secure; and that chip and pin certainly doesn’t make cards more secure, it makes customers have to accept liability.”
The banking industry payment body APACS said the system of a micro-chip imbedded in the card with a PIN has cut fraud, but if cloning becomes a serious issue, more secure technology would be adopted.