Archive for August, 2015

I’m packing for a trip and came across this article about RFID blocking wallets and such:

The Skimming Scam: RFID-blocking wallets can work. But do you really need one?

They block RF signals from reaching passports, credit cards, and other contactless data sources that can, in theory, can be accessed remotely by anybody nearby with the appropriate reader. I have a bunch of shielded stuff, and I use it. Why bother?

“What’s less clear is whether RFID skimming is a threat worth worrying about in the first place. For all the hype about the theoretical danger, there have been few if any reports of actual crimes involving RFID skimming. The technique appears to be far more popular among security researchers than it is among thieves, and for good reason: There are much easier and more effective ways to steal people’s money and data.”

I don’t think they are completely a waste for average people, but it’s certainly a marketing thing for the manufacturers. I do it because I’d rather share less data than more and, more importantly, because I hang out in places with security researchers.

Now I do buy bags with security features, many of which come with RFID blocking pockets. I like that they do, but it’s the other locks, clips, security straps and so on that are the reason I’m willing to pay more for them. (I look for them on sale or discontinued.) These kinds of physical security features are the primary interest, and are absolutely worth it for me.