Of Sec Cons and Magstripe Gift Cards

I've been meaning to talk about CONFidence and EUSecWest for quite a while, but May was such an intense month for me, that's hardly left me with any time for other things. I eventually got caught up with other matters, which resulted in me publishing this post about 2 months late.

I've been researching, pentesting, and preparing two different presentations which I gave at CONFidence in Krakow, and EUSecWest in London. pdp has also been busy presenting at AusCERT2009. In his Weaponry 2.0, pdp talked about current challenges experienced by pentesters, shared some of his experiments (i.e.: using QEMU) and introduced his Jeriko pentesting environment (NOT framework!).

My CONFidence presentation was on PCI DSS, and credit card theft from a pentester's perspective. I attempted to explain why it's possible for unsophisticated criminals to compromise credit card data. I also shared my frustrations with the PCI DSS standards, including some of its current weaknesses.

On the other hand, my EUSecWest presentation was on attacking magstripes gift cards, which apppear to be on the rise in the UK. The core of the research is about cloning (activated) gift cards without physically swiping the magnetic stripes. Trust me when I say that there is a lot of truth on Drago's tweet regarding this research! My EUSecWest slides have just been recently published. More details will soon be available on a white paper which will be available on Corsaire Research website.

Thanks & Shouts

I'd like to thank the organizers of these two great conferences, namely Andrzej Targosz from CONFidence and Dragos Ruiu from EUSecWest (plus their respective crews of course).

Also, special thanks to Corsaire who sponsored the time needed to prepare my presentation. I originally started my magstripe gift cards research about 3 years ago, but left it unattended for so long. If it wasn't for Corsaire, this research wouldn't have been resumed.

_Finally, thanks to everyone who helped me prepare my presentations such as Jan Fry, Amir Azam, pavlovs_dog, Monsy Carlo, etc._