what is a RFID skimmer

An RFID (Radio-Frequency Identifier) skimmer can be loosely defined as a device that is used to collect mass information from RFID systems. An RFID skimmer can signal RFID tags in its vicinity and record the responses. Used at a checkout line, for example, an RFID skimmer could acquire credit card numbers and other information from individuals with RFID tagged belongings. An RFID skimmer can be powerful enough to pick up signals from RFID tags in a wide radius. This means that identity thieves can quickly walk through a crowded area and leave with a wide range of information. An RFID skimmer could be used to recover the information from a remote key fob to start a car. Once the skimmer had the information, the user could trick the car into unlocking, making theft very easy and also very difficult to prove in court, because the car would show no evidence of forced entry. Credit card information acquired with an RFID skimmer could be used to make unauthorized purchases on a card holder’s account. If the card holder was unfortunate enough to have RFID encoding on his or her identification as well, the RFID skimmer could collect that information as well, making fraud even easier. It is alarmingly easy and inexpensive to build a reasonably high powered RFID skimmer, which has raised questions about the safety of RFID technology.

COMMENT rf, wireless