Anti-Hack Access Card Shields Tested

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 26, 2017

Keeping your access control card information secure is becoming a big priority, especially since cheaper copiers can hack details easily. Multiple products claim they can keep those RFID details hidden, so we bought several examples to put them to the test, including:

  • RFID Blocking 'Security Wallet'
  • Paper and Foil Card Sleeves
  • FIPS 201 Metal Shield Card Holder
  • Standard-duty Aluminum Foil

We tested four common RFID shielding products to see which one performed the best, with a surprising result. Catch our test and demo video inside.

******* **** ****** ******* card information secure ** ******** * big ********, ********** ************ ******* *** **** details ******. ******** ******** ***** they *** **** ***** RFID ******* ******, ** we ****** ******* ******** to *** **** ** the ****, *********:

  • **** ******** '******** ******'
  • ***** *** **** **** Sleeves
  • **** *** ***** ****** Card ******
  • ********-**** ******** ****

** ****** **** ****** RFID ********* ******** ** see ***** *** ********* the ****, **** * surprising ******. ***** *** test *** **** ***** inside.

[***************]

Key **** ********

*** ******* ******* *** following ******** ***** **** shields:

  • *** *****/**** **** ******* were *** **** ********* shields ** *** ******** we ******.
  • ********* *** ****** **** is *********. **** ********* obscuring *** **** *** still ***** *** **** to ** ********* *** transmit ****.
  • *** *** ***** *** more ********* ** ****** than **.** ***.  *** higher ********* ****** *** a ****** **** ******* through ****-**-***** ************, *** that **** ******** **** makes ********* **** *********.
  • *** **** ****** ********, they *** ************** ** even ********* ***** *****, but ********** ***** *** still ** ************ ********.
  • **** ***** ** *** copier/reader ******* ****** ************* strength. ****** ****** *****/****** range ******* *** ****** and ****-******* ********* ******* that *** ** ********* for ******* *******.

** *** ***** *** sections *****, ** ******* these ******** ** ******.

RFID ********* **** *****

** *** ***** *****, we **** ******* *** four ***** ** ******* we ******, **** *** surprising **** ********* ******** being *** *****/**** *******:

FIPS-201 ***** **** ****** ****** - ~$** ****

** ***** ** ******* claims, *** ****** ******** the **** ************* *********** was ********-*** ********* **** ********** ****** *** ******* "******** your **** **** ************ scanning."

*** **** ***** **** claim ** **** ********* true.  ***** *** *** happen **** *** **** of *** ****** ******* by *** ******** ***** shield *** ********* ** the ******, *** ** the '****' *********** **** of *** **** ***** the ******, ***** ******** normally, ** *** ********* a ****** ************ ********, the ******** ** *** time.  *** ****** ******* only **% ** *** reads ** **** *************, versus ***% **** ********.

******* ****** ***** *** commonly **** ** ******* ID ******, **** **** commonly **** ** **** with *** *******, ********** side ****** ***.  **** makes *** **** ***** of **** ****** ** an ****** ********** ****** dubious.

Paper/Foil ******* - ~$* ****

*** **** ****** * surprising ****** - *** of *** ***** ********* and '******' ******** ********* the ****.***** ~$* ****-***** ***** sleeves**** **** ********* ** stopping ***** ****.

** ***** ** ***********, the ******* ******* ***** from ******* *** ******* **** *********% ** ******** *** both *** *** *** 13.56 *** *****. ** general, *** ******* ********** covered ******** ** *** card, ***** ***** * rouge ****** *** ****** penetration **** ** ******** the **** *********.

** ****, *** **** used * ***, *********, unripped ******, *** *** lightweight ***** ************ ** not ****** ** **** up **** ***** **** days ** ******* ***.

Anti ******* ****** - ~$**

*** '******* **********' ****** of * ******* ********* '******** ******' *** *** **** performance ****** ******.  ***** the ******* ****** "**** your ****** ** ****** built ** ****-******** ********** prevents ****** ****** ******* from ***********", *** ******* shows **** ******** *** kHz ***** **** *** wallet ****** *** ******* when *** ******* **** faced *** ******.

*********, *** ****** ******* scans **** *** *******/**** bulky **** ***** *** reader *** ******, *** intermittent ***** ***** ********.

*** ********* **** - 13.56 *** ******** ** any **** ** *** wallet ************* *** *******, and *** ****** *** successful.

Aluminum **** - ~$* *** ****

**** *** ****** *** the **** ** *** shielding *********, **** ****** household ********* *** ** used **** *******?  ** tested ****** ********-***** ******** duty ******** ****, **** a ***** ********* ** about *.* **** *****.  In *** ****, ******** less **** * **** (folded ******) ** **** was *** ** ********* shield. ** **** * full * **** ****** shielding *** ********** ****** to ***** ***% ** attempted *****.

** ***** ** **********, raw **** *** *** worst ****** *** **** easily, ****** *** ******** use * ********* ****** at ****.

Migration **** **** *** *** ***** *******

** ***** ** *** ******** ****** ****** ******* Migration *****, *** **** ** copying *********** ** ***** in ***********, **** *** 125 *** *****.  ** noted:

"*** **** *****, *** **** *** ********* as *** ***** ** warrant ******** *****, *******, the ********* ** ***** easy ******* *** ******* and ********* *** *****. Security ******** ****** *** consider *** ********** ** getting ************ ********** *** 'high ****' *** *** cards ** **** ** getting '*** ****' ********* mechanical **** *** ** any ******** ** *** box ****** *****."

*** ***** ***********, **** shielding *** **** ** important **** ** ****** copying *********, ********** ***** the '********' ****** ** moving ** **.** *** cards ** ******. ** our ****** *******, *** most ********* ******* **** among *** ********, *** far **** ** ****** than ******** ***** *** readers.

*******, *** ********** ** sleeves ** * ********* fix ** *******. ***** using * ***** ****** to ****** ***** ** inexpensive, **** **** *** likely **** ** ***** constant ***, *** ******** replacement ****** ** ********. 

Comments (5)

Unfortunately, it still takes some action on the part of the cardholder to shield his/her card. Unless there is a personal motive, my experience tells me that any of the solutions would be successful in a full deployment . One of the big benefits of a non-contact technology is that you don't have to take the card out of your wallet or purse. Using any of these would eliminate this benefit.  

A related question. Have you tried two cards back to back? With the same card number? Different numbers? Different formats?

I'm sorry, I meant any of the solutions would would NOT be successful.  Also, as a designer, I can  no longer recommend prox. I think mobile credentials are the way of the future.

I can envision a time when physical card readers will be a thing of the past. 

Thanks, there is much food for thought in this article as cheap scanners become more available & our expensive "shielded" wallets become less suitable

Shouldn't higher frequency gives you shorter wavelength? And longer wavelength harder to block?

Is the following statement wrong oder?

"The higher wavelength signal has a harder time passing through line-of-sight obstructions, but that same property also makes shielding more effective."

Actually, I misused 'wavelength' there, it should be 'frequency', as you point out. Thanks for catching that, changed!

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