Portable magnetic card reader

portable magnetic card reader

[ned]‘s HandySwipe is a portable magnetic card reader. It runs on 4 AA batteries and collects data from track 2 cards. It uses a PIC 16F688 and displays the card’s data on a small LCD. It can store up to 50 cards and dump them in CSV format. It will also output the raw bitstream for use with Acidus’s StripeSnoop. Ned’s project write up is pretty interesting since he covers using a logic analyzer while swiping a card and driving the LCD with only three pins using a shift register.

Comments

  1. me says:

    dumb first post

  2. jimbob says:

    I love projects like these. Not a whole lot of practical use to me personally but they’re just plain interesting.
    That LogicPort logic analyser he uses looks pretty damn good too. Well worth the price I bet.

  3. metrobilly says:

    Keep in mind, if you possess one of these and the government can prove you have it for the purposes of defrauding or stealing the data on the cards, mere possession could be illegal under federal law. 18 USC 1029 (a) (8)

  4. Telepunk5 says:

    I was just working on a project like this from the Make Magazine a while back so I could check on the data on some of the cards I have. I like this portable one, neat idea, and a great how to. I might be slapping one of these together instead.

  5. my fathers son says:

    isnt this simular to what the kid in terminator 2 had?

  6. tiuk says:

    Not really. If I recall correctly, his was used to crack PIN numbers. This reads the data from the magnetic stripe (ie. even if you wrote it to a blank card, you’d still need the PIN).

  7. JibbaJabba says:

    The kid in terminator 2 had a card that was wired into a PDA that could supposedly interrogate an ATM machine and reaveal the the pin number to the persons account they were trying to steal from. It also managed to pull the pass key from one of those electronic locks on a door in the research labs.

    All total BS in practice, but it seems to be the standard thing to do in films. Theres barely a single film that is actually believable when it comes to electronic wizardry like this…

    My favorite is when people type plaintext commands into a computer and they work! Like “Copy all files with images of secret device to disk”. And its all done in the name of making the film more interesting and watchable to the average joe…Aarrgh!

  8. [Visualize-this-bold]

    I love projects like these. Not a whole lot of practical use to me personally but they’re just plain interesting.

    [/Visualize-this-bold]

    Hmm. I know of at least one everyday practical use.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=skimmer+atm

    Things like this are the reason I don’t let my credit cards out of my sight. I follow my server back to the kiosk and watch the server swipe my card.

    Imagine one of these under a server’s apron plus perhaps a pen and pad to write down the 3 digit security code that’s located on the back of the card in the signature panel.

    If it’s a she, and she’s cute, you can always say you are shopping for a second house/property for investment purposes and are trying to be extra careful with your credit history.

  9. tyvec says:

    Maybe Im missing something, but is there any other realistic practical use for this thing other than to steal?
    Is this site so desperate for material that it now resorts to criminal hardware manufacture tutorial?
    Dont get me wrong, i know its fascinating to learn how credit card readers/data recorders work, but can you honestly believe that featuring this how-to is not contributing to crime and innocent low income people from being ripped off? I know your going to say ‘but this tech is already available on the internet, open source etc.’ but does that mean we need to perpetuate and spread it just because its available elsewhere? this site says ‘we are not a cracking site’, but yet this is a crack if i ever saw one.

  10. Pikey says:

    @ Standard Mischief

    If she’s cute, you don’t need any other excuses to follow her around. =-D

  11. my fathers son says:

    thanks for clearing that up for me. so theres no way to get the pin off the card?if i cant then what info is the card going to give me?

  12. Greg says:

    cool! this would be perfect for a home automation project!
    this gives me an idea: homemade rfid reader and tags

  13. strider_mt2k says:

    Aside from the ethical issues brought up by tyvec, I’d say the only thing this project needs is an enclosure of some kind.

    The “open circuit board held together by a sweaty hacker mitt” look is tre chic, but hardly robust for everyday use.

    wrap that rascal!

  14. jibbajabba says:

    @11 – No. The pin isn’t even stored on the card. Its on the banks computers. You type the pin into the ATM and it asks the banks central servers if the pin entered compares correctly with what they’ve got. If its the same, you get ure money, if its not then the machine takes ure photo and tells you to piss off.

    All thats stored on the card are the numbers on the front of the card (card number, expiry date etc…) and maybe a very limited amount of other stuff.
    Thats the whole reason chip and pin is so successful at reducing fraud. If your card does happen to get skimmed, the fraudsters still can’t buy anything from shops in the high street because they wont know your pin. With the old system all that was needed was a fake signature which, lets face it, aint difficult to copy! However this system doesn’t prevent against online fraud where u dont enter ure pin, but thats another big story…

    @13 – LOL!

  15. goldscott says:

    I have a very similar project posted here: http://goldscott.blogspot.com/

    haven’t done the LCD display yet, been too busy with other things.

  16. john doe says:

    One example of a perfectly legal use for such a project: I’m rather absent minded. Being absent minded, I often misplace of forget my ID card. So, I made and used a device similar to this to read and decode the data on my card. Now, whenever I go to clock in at work, open a security door, or print a document off on campus, if I forgot my car, all I need to do is simple type in the data on the numeric keypad next to the card swipe instead. Granted it’s a 30-40 digit number. But, once I realized what each set of digits stood for, it was relatively easy to remember.

  17. hellahulla says:

    Re: 14, jibbajabba
    What about that little CVS number, isn’t that required to buy anything if you’re not present, so if the theif doesn’t have that they can’t do anything with your details?
    I’m not that knowlegable about this subject so I am just curious.

  18. philpem says:

    magenta on mid-grey, goldscott? am i the only person finding that hard to read?

  19. goldscott says:

    @17: I know the color scheme is terrible.
    I’m in the last week of my semester, finals next week, so I haven’t had time to change anything, but that will be the first thing to get fixed.

  20. jibbajabba says:

    @17. Yes, usually the CVS number is needed for purchases when you’re not there, though from my experience it depends on who youre buying from. I have some places request it, and others don’t.
    I dont know if the CVS number is stored on the mag stripe. I’ve not really researched it that far. From the theifs point of view, if they’ve been able to get their hands on your card to read the mag stripe then its not difficult to remember a 3 digit number.
    One interesting thing to note, although it probably does not work now the compulsory chip and pin system is in operation, is that if the chip on your card doesn’t work, then the machine will still accept the transaction by using the mag stripe.

  21. Kevin says:

    Does anybody know where you can buy the card reader he is using? I can’t find the reader online anywhere for sale. It is not listed on all electronics.

  22. [Visualize Blockquote]
    Maybe Im missing something, but is there any other realistic practical use for this thing other than to steal? Is this site so desperate for material that it now resorts to criminal hardware manufacture tutorial?
    [/Visualize Blockquote]

    This is a perfectly legitimate hack and like all thingys, can be used for either good or evil. Just because the underworld has been using skimmers for years doesn’t mean this is can’t be used for perfectly legitimate purposes.

    How about interfacing this with a PDA, and then having a secure link between the PDA and your home PC. You could then maybe accept credit cards while you were working at a flea market or other location?

    How about adapting the firmware and using this to start your car with the magnetic stripe on the drivers license that by law you need to carry anyway?

  23. [Visualize Blockquote]
    Yes, usually the CVS number is needed for purchases when you’re not there, though from my experience it depends on who you’re buying from. I have some places request it, and others don’t.
    I don’t know if the CVS number is stored on the mag stripe. I’ve not really researched it that far. From the thief’s point of view, if they’ve been able to get their hands on your card to read the mag stripe then its not difficult to remember a 3 digit number.
    [/Visualize Blockquote]

    That’s an extra 3 digit number that’s only on the signature panel. I’ve only seen it used when buying things online. You don’t need it to buy gas at the pay-at-the-pump kiosk. You don’t need it when paying at the grocery store, and you don’t need to give it out at Mac-n-Trash, (nor do you need to sign when you purchases food that’s less than $25). Of course in all three of those cases, you would need to have the equipment to write a stripe on a magnetic card

  24. greg says:

    Anyone dumb enough to give their credit card to a flea market vendor or ‘other’ locations totally deserves the anal penetration theyre about to recieve.

  25. jaded says:

    Mischief,

    You’re absolutely right in stating that the hacking nature isn’t about stealing but simply “knowing”. There’s nothing wrong with learning how anything works — indeed, I believe it’s reckless to be ignorant of something so common that can have such a large affect on your financial security. Someone who believes suppressing this information one web page at a time will somehow “keep us safe” from fraudsters isn’t considering the whole problem.

    However, you are incorrect in assuming you can just build your own credit card accepting terminal and use it. In order to connect it to Visa’s network, for example, you have to get your device certified by Visa, and you have to comply with their PCI restrictions. It’s a bunch of rules saying stuff like “you can’t store the card data in your systems, you have to encrypt the account data, you must have security in place to prevent the following types of activities that a dishonest employee might use, etc.” It’s a tedious and expensive process, one best left to a card accepting company that sells whole units (like Verifone.)

    But of course you can build one on your own, as long as you aren’t accepting other peoples’ credit cards through it. You can even buy a card encoder and start producing your own cards. Many smaller stores do such a thing with “rewards cards,” “loyal shopper cards,” or even gift cards.

    Regarding the printed three digit number, it’s called the Card Verification Value (C.V.V.2.) It’s a number created by your Visa bank when they issue your card, and it is NOT stored anywhere on the mag stripe. Your stripe actually contains a different C.V.V. not printed on the face — that’s why the printed one is actually called C.V.V. “2”.

    The idea behind the C.V.V. is that someone who knows your name, account number and expiration date cannot use that information to produce a clone of your credit card. It’s a weak measure of security, but it was cheap to implement and it thwarted a certain type of fraud many years ago.

    [P.S. A pox on this pretentious lower case e.e. cummings nonsense! ]

  26. Sonnettie says:

    @14 the pin is stored on the card it stores the “natural” pin (pin that came through tyhe post) and an offset difference between orig pin and pin u changed to at the atm both are encrypted though, also your name etc is on the strip

  27. Sebastian says:

    and please someone tell me how do i find the programs wich i hawe to program the PIC.
    because i don

  28. Mr Doug says:

    Where can I get a card reader and encoder that could write the newly read information to a new or existing card? Such as a Drivers License, Credit Card, Reward Card, etc. Do they actually sell that stuff?

  29. bob says:

    very nice just tel my how to contact yu
    not for the reader i want ask yu somthing else

  30. Frank says:

    Is there any way you can use a floppy disk drive to read/write to magnetic cards?

  31. MT-4c3 says:

    @14 u cant do that much damage online with someones ccN.from my experience u cannot send money or transfer money without an acctual Bank accout(moneygram)..even if u have the persons ssn and the 3 digi secure number at the back of the cardd

  32. Vasile Bidon says:

    heya ppl.i think i have the same prblm as many around here(but still i spell better english :-).i wana build (i’v done it before-but not this way) one of the smallest read.this means something like 3-4 mm … with touchpad of verry small wire cam… dunno exaclly.so , if is someone with bigger brain than i am , i pay for info or i exchange :)

  33. Kelly says:

    Can someone tell me how to get credit card with the info?
    Like to meet you

  34. Kelly says:

    Can someone tell me how to get credit card with the info?
    Like to meet you….. kellymartin1971@yahoo.ca

  35. matibar rahman says:

    Plz give any quick way to get more and more money.

  36. Tyler says:

    get more and more money by more and more work at job

  37. 2501 says:

    Couldn’t you… for fits of hilarity of course.. use software and the reader to modify and/or duplicate the information on the back of your drivers license and transfer it to a hotel key or magstripe blank? say… make yourself 23 when your 57? Its possible is it not?

  38. baaaz says:

    where can I get a card reader and encoder that could write the newly read information to a new or existing card? Such as a Credit Card, Reward Card, etc.weres the cheapist place to buy can u make ya own?i am from england

  39. jesus says:

    Does anyone know of a program that could reload cash on a gift card.

  40. dave says:

    can any one hack passwords on msn office or get to there e mail anyway good profit let me no

  41. pr0lifyck says:

    hello, who want credit cards, just sent me a message here: pr0lifyck@yahoo.com .

  42. Tom says:

    hello everyone:)
    just read all through, v good project.,
    if anyone woul like to share info pls
    do not hesitate 2 write me to pls @
    tomas_ezerins@yahoo.com
    the kindest regards

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  44. richy says:

    i will learn how to hack creditcard brother.

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  46. Gucci says:

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