Thieves can persuade UK iPhones to pay from Visa

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Using Express Transit
Using Express Transit Credit: TFL

THIEVES can persuade UK iPhones to pay from Visa according to researchers from the universities of Birmingham and Surrey.

They claim that there is a weakness in the Visa programming for ‘Express Transit’ when set up in an iPhone wallet and have demonstrated, using their own accounts, the removal of £1,000 thanks to this flaw.

Advice from the Apple website concerning ‘Express Transit’ says “Quickly pay for rides with Apple Pay using Express Transit on your iPhone and Apple Watch without having to wake or unlock your device, or open an app. You don’t even need to validate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.”

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The only requirement is that the phone is turned on and the ‘Express Transit’ App has been downloaded to the iPhone.

In a video seen by the BBC, the researchers demonstrated how the con occurs using two specific pieces of equipment which don’t even have to be near the iPhone so long as it is connected to the internet.

So far, there have been no reports of theft actually occurring and the scam was only demonstrated under laboratory conditions but until such time as Apple and Visa are able to confirm that the potential problem has been blocked, it might be advisable for commuters to remove the App.


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