I am relatively new to security and I would call myself an amateur researcher as I do not even work in IT.

However, I remember having a MS605 card reader / writer / encoder and I loved playing around with it and reading data off random cards I had laying around my house. It had always dawn on me if it were possible to perform a buffer overflow by using the card, or maybe a dos attack (really anything malicious). I would think it would be possible to perform something similar to an SQL injection attack where the input escapes itself, and maybe allowing for command injection?

I am no expert but I have always been curious about this. Does anyone know if it’s even possible? I don’t even know what the security is like on say a gas pump or atm when it comes to validating a credit card. I just assume with carefully crafted input something malicious could be done here.

  • The strip or the reader is not even close to the point. The only relevant part is your last point: it all has to do with the software that processes the data from the card. So your question is like asking "is it possible that a piece of software has a vulnerability?" and the answer is "sure it's possible"
    – schroeder
    May 22 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


Theoretically Possible but unlikely.

Due to:

  • The small size of the magstrip, because the compromise needs to be contained in the strip itself, my smallest commandline injection attack was `touch /tmp/a`.

Although thinking of it:

  1. Using a series of cards to create a shell script a i.e. `echo "#/bin/bash">/tmp/a.`
  2. Then executing a `/tmp/a`
  3. Then laughing all the way to the bank.

This seems to be very like the good old days with punch card computer computing.

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