A team of researchers have developed an inexpensive, secure method named SafePay prototype system to prevent mass credit card fraud using existing magnetic card readers. The research was led by Yinzhi Cao, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Lehigh University.
The findings of the research were published on the official website of Lehigh University on 21 September 2015.
This novel technique works by transforming disposable credit card information to electrical current and driving a magnetic card chip to simulate the behavior of a physical magnetic card.
Characteristic feature of SafePay
• It is compatible with existing magnetic card readers and due to this it will greatly relieve the burden of merchants in replacing card readers and at the same time protect cardholders from mass data breaches.
• It is related to Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) which are systems consisting of computational elements that control physical entities.
• The computational elements in SafePay consist of a mobile device and a server which distributes disposable credit card numbers.
• The physical entity is the magnetic credit card chip controlled by a mobile application inside a customer's mobile device.
How SafePay works?
• First, the user downloads and executes the mobile banking application which communicates with the bank server.
• During transactions, the mobile application acquires disposable credit card numbers from the bank server, generates a wave file.
• He then plays the file to generate electrical current and then drives the magnetic card chip via an audio jack or Bluetooth.
Critical elements of SafePay
• Disposable credit card information that expires after a limited time or number of usages. So, even if the information is leaked, it cannot be used for future transactions.
• A magnetic credit card chip that makes it completely compatible with existing readers.
• A mobile banking application that automates the process making it extremely user-friendly.
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What: Developed by researchers
When: 21 September 2015