links for 2009-06-09

  • Some public parking lots are eschewing parking meters that take credit cards or cash, for a system that relies on text message payment. On the surface, the idea sounds fantastic. No more digging for change behind your seat to feed the meter! However, there are some glaring issues. For one, you have to establish an account with the company that is accepting the text message payments. If you need to do this from the parking lot where you are parking, you must send an unencrypted text to the number displayed on the sign. Your text must include your credit card number! A clever thief could intercept those texts and steal your credit card information. However, a more practical thief could just neatly replace the posted number with a number of their own. Instead of sending your credit card info to the parking lot operator, you would be sending it directly to the thief!
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