The FBI today released a statement today warning consumers that the new chips don’t prevent against online fraud or point of sale compromises (like the Target hack). Apparently the “chip and sign” signature based systems are a point of weakness when compared to “chip and PIN” based systems. They went on to advise merchants to use the “chip and PIN” system whenever possible. This is requested since the PIN based systems fully utilize the security measures that are built into the EMV chip on the card.
Apparently the weakness is already widely known in the industry and this warning from the FBI is just a wake-up call that the US is behind where they should be. Most other major markets have transitioned to “chip and PIN” about ten years ago. Hopefully with this alert from the FBI more of the industry will get with it in the US and work to fully utilize the EMV chip’s benefits.
As a consumer here in the US, I personally haven’t seen any “chip and PIN” systems in my area. It really makes me wonder why all the big fuss about transitioning if nothing new will be done. I would like to have some peace of mind sooner rather than later when it comes to the security of my cards.
Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Huffpost.