This tiny device can infect point-of-sale systems and unlock hotel rooms



Millions of point-of-sale systems and hotel room locks can be hacked by temporarily placing a small, inexpensive device several inches away from their card readers.

The device, due to be presented Sunday at the DEF CON conference in Las Vegas, is the creation of Weston Hecker, a senior security engineer at Rapid7. It was inspired by MagSpoof, another device created last year by security researcher Samy Kamkar.

MagSpoof can trick most standard card readers to believe a certain card was swiped by generating a strong electromagnetic field that simulates the data stored on the card’s magnetic stripe. Kamkar presented it as a way to replace all your cards with a single device, but Hecker took the idea and investigated what else could be done with it.

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