Smart Card risk

The cashless society still appears a fair way away, following a report by US researchers that new fraud techniques threatened over half of the world’s smart cards.

Paul Kocher, President of Cryptography Research has stated that in some cases it takes “only a few seconds per card” to break the security system on smart cards.

Cryptography Research first made a name for themselves by discovering a security flaw for Visa International, known as Dynamic Power Analysis (DPA). The new risk is a simplified version of DPA, called simple power analysis (SPA), and works by monitoring the electrical activity on the chip – and then using advanced statistical methods to decode information.

While both Visa and Mondex claim their cards are protected against DPA, final research into the problem is expected to delay the final rollout of the cards.