Smart cards are the new wave. Now, in addition to swiping your card to make purchases, recent technology has introduced the “wave and pay” system which allows you to simply wave your credit cards over a detector to make a purchase. However, criminal hackers have adapted to this new way of shopping and can usurp your credit card information if they are in the vicinity when it is used.
The credit cards can do this using RFID chips that are embedded into them. The cards use radio frequencies and the frequencies of the cards is in such a range that they can be detected from a centimeter to a meter (roughly two feet) away.
Currently, hackers can only obtain your credit card number and expiration date through this means. As it stands, the three digit CVV security number needed to complete online purchases is safe. However, skilled hackers can load stolen numbers and expiration dates into dummy credit cards and use them at point-of-sale locations where CVV numbers are not required.
This is a concern, because RFID radio tags are being put into passports and employee badges. This is even more dangerous because these documents hold more personal information. With employee badges, if cloned, they can be used to gain access into secure buildings and areas.
There is only one known means of protection against hackers looking to hack into your credits cards. This method is called the “Faraday Cage.” This means lining your pocket and/or wallet with aluminum foil or a similar substance.