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 *********** ****** ** becoming * *** ********, especially ************ ******* *** **** 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 ********-*** ********* **** ********** ****** *** ******* "protects **** **** **** unauthorized ********."

*** **** ***** **** 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!

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
Nortek Blue Pass Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jul 11, 2019
Nortek claims BluePass mobile readers are a 'more secure and easy to use approach to access', but our testing uncovered security problems and...
Poor OSDP Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 09, 2019
OSDP certainly offers advantages over decades-old Wiegand (see our OSDP Access Control Guide) but new IPVM statistics show that usage of OSDP, even...
Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Dumber Techs, Bad Box Movers, Says Australian Distributor on Jun 10, 2019
Techs today are "dumber" than they used to be, despite better education and training and that makes a typical day "frustrating" for one...

Most Recent Industry Reports

History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
ZeroEyes Gun Detection Startup on Jul 16, 2019
A gun detection video analytics startup, ZeroEyes, is being led by a group of 6 former Navy SEALs, aiming to "save lives" by using AI to assist...
Motorola Acquires Watchguard, Adds to Vigilant And Avigilon on Jul 15, 2019
2 years ago, Motorola had no position nor relevancy to video surveillance. Now, they own major video surveillance, LPR and body camera providers...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jul 15, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact