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Apple Pay makes life easy – for hackers to steal your cash

It’s been found in the UK that a hack can bypass an Apple Pay safety system and let e-thieves make off with thousands of dollars.

In 2019, Apple added the Express Transit feature to Apple Pay, meaning public transport users can tap on and off at the TfL barriers on the underground train system without needing verification.

But Computer Science researchers found a problem in the way Visa is set up to work with it.

This flaw would allow thieves to trick an iPhone into registering it’s near a ticket barrier, meaning it doesn’t need to be unlocked or verified to let a transaction to go through.

The researchers could mimic signals from a ticket barrier to charge £1000 without an iPhone owner knowing.

It seems this only affects Visa cards on iPhones, and both Apple and Visa have said it’s unlikely to actually happen.

Visa have issued a statement saying, “Variations of contactless fraud schemes have been studied in laboratory settings for more than a decade and have proven to be impractical to execute at scale in the real world.”

But Dr Andreea Radu of the University of Birmingham says, “In a few years these might be become a real issue.”

 

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