Cash in the aisles: How gift cards are easily exploited

It is commonly thought that gift cards must be activated to have any monetary value. Often displayed on countertops and lining grocery store aisles, seemingly worthless unactivated gift cards are free for anyone to grab a handful. However, weaker security features than the average credit card makes these gift cards nearly as valuable as cash. Mass produced, their numbers follow a predictable pattern and have limited built-in security, such as chip and pin, to prevent fraud.

This presentation will demonstrate little-known weaknesses in multiple gift card systems, show how these weaknesses can be exploited, and suggest better countermeasures to theft than the ones currently in place.

Will Caput

Will has 15+ years of industry experience in pen-testing. Starting with the cryptography field in the Marine Corps, he progressed into red team hacking and infosec for fortune 100 companies. Education includes a bachelors degree in Information System Security, and original member of DC530 and founder of the Norcon hacking convention (