05 May 2007

ChronoCanine, The World's Watchdog

Well, as we’ve received more letters than usual lately, we’ve decided to start a programme called ChronoCanine and pretend the letters were sent to it...

Dear ChronoCanine,

I wish to become a victim of credit card unfraud. This is a process by which people who have acquired my card details by dubious means credit my bank account without my knowledge.

The banks would like everyone to believe that such unfraudulent activities are impossible, thanks to FIN & Chip, which uses chips that are hard to clone and even harder to digest. If only it were that simple...

You see, chips were added to credit cards because their predecessor, the moronic stripe, had become so easy to copy but, alas, whatever genius added the chip neglected to remove the stripe! Thus the old security flaw is still exploitable.

Naturally, owing to the similarity between a moronic stripe and ordinary magnetic tape, all one need do to extract personal data from a moronic stripe is slide it slowly past the play-head of an audio-cassette player, which will result in a metallic voice saying, in my case:

00001001 11111001 00010001 00000010 10011101 01110100 11100011 01011011 11011000 01000001 01010110 11000101 01100011 01010110 10001000 11000000.

Clearly this kind of unfraud can be prevented by banning credit cards from having moronic stripes and overturning the long-standing tradition of banks using the absolute cheapest (for them) “security” system they can get away with. All it takes is a little love and legislation.

But until government enters the 20th century and grabs the banks by their crossover cables, please feel free to commit unfraud with my credit card. By the way, my Futile Identification Number is 1234, but you could have guessed that.

Yours financially,
Mr Mike McMuffles.

Thank you, Mike. ChronoCanine replies, “Woof!”

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