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.