Flipper Zero Pen-Testing Device Banned by Amazon for Alleged Card Skimming Capabilities

 Flipper Zero Pen-Testing Device Banned by Amazon for Alleged Card Skimming Capabilities

Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, has recently banned the sale of Flipper Zero, a compact and portable multi-tool designed for pen-testing purposes. According to reports, the platform has tagged the device as a card-skimming device, which is now prohibited from being sold on Amazon. This ban has caused some commotion among the pen-testing community, especially those who rely on Amazon for purchasing such devices.

Flipper Zero is a versatile device that allows its users to experiment with and debug various digital and hardware devices via multiple protocols, including RFID, radio, NFC, infrared, Bluetooth, and others. Since its launch, users have demonstrated its capabilities, such as activating doorbells, conducting replay attacks to unlock cars and open garage doors, and cloning a wide range of digital keys.

However, the device's rising popularity has caught the attention of authorities in some countries, including Brazil, where the National Telecommunications Agency has been seizing incoming Flipper Zero purchases based on its alleged use by criminals. Brazilians who bought the devices say the government agency has rejected all attempts to certify the device.

In response to the ban, Pavel Zhovner, the CEO of Flipper Devices, has asked Amazon to reconsider the ban as the device is not capable of skimming bank cards. Not all potential buyers of Flipper Zero will be upset by the Amazon ban, as some sellers were marking up the price of the device on the platform.

It is worth noting that card-skimming devices are listed on Amazon's Seller Central portal under the Lock Picking & Theft Devices restricted product category, next to key duplicating devices and shoplifting devices, such as sensormatic detachers. Amazon has warned Flipper Zero sellers to check all their other listings and remove all other restricted products within 48 hours or face account deactivation.

Flipper Zero's co-creator, Alex Kulagin, told Wired that the device is intended for educational purposes and hobbyists' entertainment. "We want to help you understand something deeply, explore how it works, and explore the wireless world that's all around you but difficult to understand," he said.

At present, some links to previously available Amazon pages selling Flipper Zero tools are dead and displaying "Sorry, we couldn't find that page. Try searching or go to Amazon's home page." errors, while others list it as "Unavailable." The only listings one can find right now when searching for Flipper Zero on Amazon are accessories like WiFi Devboards, screen protectors, and silicone cases.

In conclusion, Amazon's recent ban on Flipper Zero has caused a stir among pen-testing enthusiasts who rely on the platform for purchasing such devices. While the ban may be a temporary measure, it highlights the need for greater regulatory oversight of the sale and use of pen-testing tools. As the technology continues to evolve, it is important that policymakers strike a balance between innovation and public safety.