Walking the Mag Mile For Identity Theft

Wireless networks carry a bounty of credit card information

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    So what happens to your information when you swipe your credit card and send it off through a wireless network?

    A security specialist with Motorola recently took his laptop for a walk up Michigan Avenue.

    What he discovered about loose or fragile wireless data seeping from various stores and restaurants was not much of a surprise to him, but for credit card users whose personal information is lingering out there in the airwaves, it's more than a subtle warning.

    Richard Rushing, senior director of information security for mobile devices, told the Chicago Tribune that he's found similar hot spots in cities across the world.

    "Most consumers don't think about what happens to their credit card information when they swipe their plastic at the cash register. The reality is that large retailers have wireless networks that connect cash registers, bar code scanners and store computers. Those networks can be vulnerable to breaches by hackers or thieves," the Tribune article says.

    So the question becomes, who's responsible for protecting our information?  According to the Tribune, it's a shared burden.