The biggest myth of contactless cards is false


Little by little, contactless cards are entering our lives. The main Spanish banks use this technology for their new credit and debit cards. And the main stores (and the smaller ones too) have compatible datasets. Its operation is almost magical: instead of passing its magnetic strip or its chip through a reader, it is only necessary to place them on a surface and immediately they are recognized. But this system so comfortable and so effective also causes misgivings. Can they steal from a distance without us noticing?

That is the great myth that surrounds this type of cards. For a thief to approach stealthily with a device, to get behind us on the subway or on the bus and to make an astronomical charge without realizing it. Many are the ones who have this fear with contactless cards. But it is totally unfounded.

Behind the contacless cards is the NFC technology, also present in some devices such as smartphones. The NFC technology, from the English Near Field Communication, allows the interaction between two electronic devices that are nearby. In theory, their separation range should be no more than 10 centimeters. But in practice, this distance is only 4 centimeters or less. that is, the thief would have to be literally stuck to our card to execute the theft.

In addition, the cards and devices use an encrypted communication, which prevents someone with a receiver from cloning their operation. And if that were not enough, the banks have introduced an extra security measure: if a payment is higher than 20 euros, the owner of the card has to type in his PIN number. And what happens if infinite payments of 20 euros are made? Well, you can not: banks also limit the number of payments under 20 euros that can be made consecutively: you can only make 3 as much or the equivalent of 50 euros. At the fourth or if that number is exceeded, the PIN will be requested at the next payment.

But as reported in this complete article, a thief could clone a contactless card remotely ... but only in a laboratory, in ideal conditions without interference, and with a team consisting of a giant antenna and a laptop. In addition, the owner of the card must remain completely immobile so that the thief can do his job well. That is, it is almost impossible to get it.

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