Magspoof: the device that can spoof Amex cards

News by Max Metzger


One clever young man has invented a device that can wirelessly spoof credit cards. In a video-explainer, Sammy Kamkar, a famed hacker, inventor and security researcher, shows off how the MagSpoof, “is a device that can spoof any magstripe or credit card entirely wirelessly, it can disable chip and pin protection, can switch between different credit cards, can accurately predict the number and expiration date on American Express cards after they've been recorded lost or stolen and works even on normal mag stripe readers which don't support NSC, RFID or any wireless features.”

Kamkar shows how one can put the small red device, not much bigger than a 50p coin, against a wireless device and have it be recognised as a card. It does this by generating a strong electromagnetic field that switches on and off, mimicking the magnetic field which would normally be produced by swiping a card.

The first step on the road to building this device was taken when Kamkar lost an Amex card. After quickly being sent a replacement he noticed that many of the digits on the new card were the same as his last one. He compared these card numbers against many more and found a global pattern which, according to Kamkar, “allows me to accurately predict American express replacement card numbers, even if already lost or stolen.”

Relax, law-abiding citizens, this particular toy won't be in the hands of criminals anytime soon. “I have informed American Express about this issue and will not be releasing the algorithm, to prevent its use in fraud,” he said.

This is not the first in Kamkar's impressive line of inventions which include zombie cookies and the first web 2.0 worm.


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