SWIPE FOR LESS SECURITY

Drivers of electric vehicles could become the target of cyber criminals if new state rules requiring the use of credit card readers at charging stations go into effect, according to a report from nonprofit Digital Citizens Alliance released on Tuesday.

Currently, many electric car charging stations accept online payments from a customer’s smart phone, eliminating the need for physical payments.

However, several states such as California, Vermont, Arizona and Nevada, are considering mandating that electric car charging stations include magnetic strip readers for credit cards.

Digital Citizens Alliance warned that using credit cards readers could significantly increase the chances of electric car drivers having their cards “skimmed” by hackers on devices illegally installed on the readers.

The skimmers referenced in the report are described as “easy-to-obtain devices engineered to steal credit card data.”

Skimmers have already been a problem at gas stations around the country, where cyber criminals can install them within seconds, with the devices difficult for customers to spot.

Stolen data from credit card readers costs Americans around $16 billion per year, according to the Digital Citizens Alliance.

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