Even though Target Corp. has not revealed how criminal hackers stole about 40 million credit card numbers at its stores, the breach has made it clear that plastic cards and the systems designed to process them are more vulnerable than ever.
A big part of the problem rests in that decades-old magnetic strip technology.
That black bar on the backside of US credit and debit cards contains and transmits financial data when they are swiped at stores, restaurants, or gas pumps. It’s definitely convenient. But thieves have figured out how to take stolen financial details and easily make counterfeit magnetic strip replicas.
There is a deterrent to such deception, and many other parts of the world implemented it long ago. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Michael B. Farrell can be reached at email@example.com.