What Size Magnet Can ERASE a Credit Card? | Summary and Q&A

September 6, 2018
Physics Girl
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What Size Magnet Can ERASE a Credit Card?


This video explores the erasability and security concerns of mag stripe credit cards, showing how magnets can erase them and discussing the introduction of chip technology for enhanced security.

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Key Insights

  • 💳 Mag stripe credit cards can be easily erased by magnets, with larger magnets having a greater erasing effect.
  • 💳 The data on mag stripe cards, such as credit card numbers and names, can be extracted and replicated using skimmers.
  • 💳 Chip technology on credit cards provides enhanced security by constantly changing the data transmitted during transactions.
  • 🎴 Cloning a chip card is significantly more difficult and expensive than replicating mag stripe cards.
  • 💳 The proximity of a magnet to a credit card determines its erasing effect, and keeping a magnet further away can prevent accidental erasure.
  • 🪡 The thickness of materials, such as leather, can significantly impact the proximity needed for magnet erasure.


But this is good news. We don't have the chip. You don't have the chip? No. [INAUDIBLE] OK. Can we keep trying to buy $1 worth of something from you? Yeah. We're going to keep trying to erase it with bigger and bigger magnets. So we want to then try to swipe it. But we needed to find somebody that only use the swipe and not the chip, which i... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do magnets erase mag stripe credit cards?

Magnets can erase mag stripe credit cards by disrupting the magnetic particles on the stripe, which contain data such as the credit card number and expiration date. When these particles are disturbed, the information becomes unreadable.

Q: Can mag stripe credit cards be hacked and cloned?

Yes, mag stripe credit cards are vulnerable to hacking and cloning. Skimmers can be used to extract data from the stripe, enabling attackers to replicate the information onto a new card.

Q: What is the purpose of the chip on credit cards?

The chip on credit cards, also known as EMV technology, serves as a more secure alternative to mag stripes. It constantly changes the data it sends during transactions, making it difficult for attackers to clone or replicate the information.

Q: How does the introduction of chip technology enhance security?

Chip technology enhances security by preventing skimming attacks. The dynamic and changing data transmitted by the chip makes it challenging for attackers to intercept and clone the information. Cloning a chip card requires significant expertise and expensive equipment.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video follows a group of individuals conducting experiments to test the erasability of mag stripe credit cards using various sizes of magnets.

  • The video features a conversation with a hacker who explains how mag stripes work and demonstrates a device that can mimic credit cards.

  • A Square hardware engineer explains the security benefits of chip technology compared to mag stripes.

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