Debit and credit cards with a ‘magnetic strip’ most vulnerable to skimming attacks, says Deputy Director FIA

Islamabad, 13 December 2017: Majority of Pakistani banks still using magnetic strips for their debit and credit cards, which are extremely vulnerable to skimming attacks.

In an exclusive interview with Digital Rights Monitor, Chaudhary Abdul Rauf, Deputy Director of FIA dealing with cyber crimes, disclosed that debit and credit cards with magnetic strips, as opposed to their advanced counterparts, the data-chips, are much more vulnerable to skimming attacks.

Talking to DRM correspondent he said that the State Bank of Pakistan has issued directives to all banks to upgrade their cards from magnetic strips to data-chips, which are much more difficult to hack and skim.

“Magnetic strips have become obsolete now, there has been a lot of work on [deconstructing] this technology. There are some banks such as MCB and Bank Alfalah who have already upgraded their cards to data-chips. State bank has issued directives to upgrade the cards by December 2018”.

It’s important to note here that most Pakistani banks are still using the magnetic strips and while the data-chips aren’t 100% hack-proof, they provide a substantially high-level of security to end-users.

A. Khan is a senior journalist with more than 8 years of experience covering important issues within Political and IT beat. In the past, he had also worked with renowned English Newspapers including Express Tribune.

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