DIAGRAM: Electronic fingerprints might prevent credit card fraud

April 16, 2013 | 5:04 p.m. CDT
In the mid-1990s, Marcel Muller and Robert Indeck, two professors at Washington University in St. Louis, discovered that magnetic strips on the back of credit cards carried electronic signatures unique to each card. Today, those signatures could be recorded and put into a database to prevent the fraudulent use of cloned credit cards. St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc. was recently targeted by hackers who came away with the credit and debit card information of many of its customers.