With the recent introduction of credit cards, passports, and now driver's licenses that contain an electronic wireless chip, sometimes referred to as an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, these critical and very personal tools in our daily life are now even more at risk. Most advances in technology come with tradeoffs, and this is no exception. While these new cards and passports do offer greater convenience they are also susceptible to new forms of theft, or "skimming" - the wireless access and/or copying of personal information stored on these cards - from a distance. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have shown that they could access a credit card user's name, the number and the expiration from more than twenty feet away! Pickpockets no longer have to physically steal your wallet when they can access your data through a regular, unprotected wallet.
"Even though there are inherent security measures built into these new 'contactless' cards and ePassports, we recognize the public's concern regarding identity theft and 'fraud,' and have designed these wallets with multiple layers of RF shielding material that completely blocks unwanted access to your personal information," offered Geb Masterson, president of Kena Kai. "Without our exclusive DataSafe shielding technology your information is basically floating in air!"
Currently there are 50+ million RFID contactless credit cards in circulation that could be vulnerable to skimming attacks, which could harvest names and credit card details from passersby. According to the January 2010 "Survey of Consumer Payment Choice" by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 21 percent of consumers currently have a contactless debit card while 26 percent have a contactless credit card.
"Without even removing their cards from wallets or pockets, consumers can potentially see their privacy and security compromised," Ari Juels, an author of the University of Massachusetts paper and researcher at RSA Labs, stated in a blog post. "A scanner in a crowded subway station might surreptitiously harvest credit card data from passersby."
The new DataSafe "Gloss" Collection will have a suggested retail of $70. The Collection will be available in five vibrant colors with contrasting accents and shiny gold zippers. The current line of wallets can be found at http://www.kenakai.com.
With a distinctive combination of style and innovation, Kena Kai designs unique items that leverage new technologies to better people's lives. High-resolution photos and additional information for the full DataSafe line can be obtained by emailing Nelleke Gort at nel[email protected]