Shmoocon 2006: A Young Gentleman’s Primer on the Reading and Emulation of Magnetic Cards


If you payed attention to the comments on our story about a Magnetic stripe card emulator you would have seen Abend announce his Shmoocon talk. It was a pretty interesting talk about the basics of mag cards and some of the tricks employed by companies to obfuscate the data. To get the feel for the talk I suggest you listen to SploitCast #004 which features Abend as a guest. That combined with his slides and tools should give you a fine crash course in the technology. He also recommend’s Count Zero’s “A Day in the Life of a Flux Reversal“. Billy Hoffman, who did the Covert Crawler, has also worked with mag stripes and developed the program Stripe Snoop.


  1. Bigbro69 says:

    I definately recommend listening to the sploitcast episode(s), those guys are really well informed about this stuff, and they explain it all great.

  2. Rob says:

    Thanks for the plug guys. We just try to put out the best content we can in our little niche, and I hope that we can continue to bring the information to our audience. Join our forums and tell us what subjects you want information on.

  3. steve says:

    i completely agree — listen to sploitcast; they’re doing a great job! this latest post is a great followup to the mentioned magnetic stripe card emulator. check that out and absolutely be sure to read the phrack article linked in the comments. its very good stuff.

    also, i think its quite a shame that i’m only the third comment on this page. a tank made out of wood gets more attention than shmoocon?? i dont get it — this is where the most interesting stuff happens. just an observation. at any rate, big thanks to you eliot for providing the coverage.

  4. N0QBH says:

    I’ve designed and built a PIC circuit that will turn a TTL Magnetic card reader into a programmable personal lock. In learn mode it’s taught to remember a card. Afterwords, it will only activate a “pass” output with this card. All others will fail.

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