Researcher works to foil credit card fraud
May 22, 1997
Web posted at: 2:40 a.m. EDT (0640 GMT)
STORRS, Connecticut (CNN) -- A researcher at the University
of Connecticut has developed a security device for credit
cards that can instantly tell whether a customer is the
Despite recent security enhancements to credit cards, such as
photo IDs, magnetic strips and holograms, electrical
engineering professor Bahram Javidi says security can be
Javidi has created a system that combines two security
schemes, known as "biometrics" and "coded phase mask."
Biometrics stores a cardholders' photograph in a computer and
matches it against a live photograph of an ATM user. It can
also match users' fingerprints.
"As far as what is needed to verify you, all we need is a
record of your fingerprint on your card," Javidi said.
(187K/17 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Coded phase mask adds another layer of protection by using
millions of transparent electronic pixels embedded into a
tiny spot on the credit card.
When a laser beam strikes the pixels, the pattern can be
matched against an identical one already stored in a
computer, Javidi said. (179K/16 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
The tiny pixels also foil sophisticated copying machines.
Counterfeiting is a billion-dollar problem for the credit
Javidi says his lab machinery could be scaled down to about
half the size of a shoebox for commercial use and that the
system is currently ready for commercial testing.
Within 10 years, he predicts the system to be in fairly wide
use, from credit cards to computers to currency.
From Correspondent Dick Wilson
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