SparkFun bluesmirf PIN Scam

That is an officer of the law holding a modified pin pad discovered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. You can barely see it in this image but among other mods the pin pad has a BlueSmirf module attached to it. This allows someone sitting within ~100 feet away to capture all of the information transmitted by the pin pad including credit card information and the PIN number. Now SparkFun commented on this issue , and I agree with Nate that all things can be used for good or evil including their products. I don’t believe SparkFun should be blamed in any way for this, it’s the companies that make the pin-pads that should take care more of the security of their devices.

Bad guys will always try to trick the systems but it’s the companies who make credit card processing devices that should be one step ahead of them. I’ve read the comments on SparkFun’s blog and someone who works in a company that makes this devices said that they have all kind of security features that will make the pin pad unusable once someone tried to open it without authorisation. Someone else said they even have an internal battery for monitoring even if the pin-pad is unplugged or has it’s main battery removed so I’m not sure how someone managed to mount the BlueSmirf inside the pin-pad.

SparkFun announced this Friday on their news section. I feel bad that someone who is so much into open-source is getting accused of a trademark infringement when they don’t even have anything to do with it. Apparently SPARC’s lawyers believe and I quote:

“Because the dominant portion of the SparkFun mark, namely, SPARK, is phonetically identical and nearly visually identical to SI’s SPARC mark, and because it is used in connection with identical goods, we believe confusion is likely to occur among the relevant purchasing group.”

SparkFun will sure get allot of support from the community and I hope they’ll get pass this without too much trouble.

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