Chicago Transit card cloning with SUNFOUNDER RFID-RC522 reader/writer

Super noob, looking for some help:

Had some fun with the Sunfounder RFID-RC522 reader/writer making it control servos. Now I want to make it read a CTA Ventra card and write the data to a writable generic Chinese MIFARE clone chip so I can replace my transit card with a fob.

Using the miguelbalboa/rfid library but my issue is that it seems all of the example sketches are using SS1 and SS2 pins. My card has NSS and IRQ but nothing labeled just SS.

How do I compensate for this?

I realize this is probably a dumb question but I've tried googling my way to the answer and must just be asking the wrong questions because I can't figure this out.

I don't think that you will get much help with this fraudulent activity.

JohnLincoln:
I don't think that you will get much help with this fraudulent activity.

What's fraudulent about it? Maybe I misunderstand how the transit cards work. Seeing as you have the ability to register the card and recover your balance if the card gets lost, I was under the impression that it reads the card ID and checks it against a database so I don't see how cloning my card, tied to my account, with my money loaded onto it, would be considered fraudulent. Am I totally wrong about how the system works?

Why not just use the card?

Regardless of your intent, the fact is if you could clone cards simply, you could just stroll alongside people and take their info. Not limited to just transit cards.
Try figuring it out for your own use. You'd probably learn more than trying to find an instruction guide.

jremington:
Why not just use the card?

Chicago can get crazy cold in the winter and digging out a card can be a hassle with layers of clothes and gloves on, especially when you're running behind and trying to sprint to catch the L. Ideally, I'd like to sew the chip into a glove or bracelet.

How do you know what freq the card gets activated with anyway?

INTP:
Regardless of your intent, the fact is if you could clone cards simply, you could just stroll alongside people and take their info. Not limited to just transit cards.
Try figuring it out for your own use. You'd probably learn more than trying to find an instruction guide.

I'm not so much looking for an instruction guide on card cloning as help with reconciling the available pins on my hardware with the example sketches in the library.

I get what your saying about the potential for using the concept for nefarious purposes but that's a bit like saying you shouldn't build a drone because one could potentially use it to deliver an explosive.

It's more just a project to learn more about RFID and the Arduino platform. If there's an encryption issue or this is a violation of their EULA or something then I'll not mess with the Ventra card and just build something. But either way, some advice on how to configure NSS/IRQ when the sketch calls for SS1/SS2, or direction to a resource where I can learn more about these things is what I'm really after since I've only found things that deal with one of these sets or the other and nothing explaining how they translate.

INTP:
How do you know what freq the card gets activated with anyway?

I don't, I know very little about how passive RFID works and I guess I thought it was fairly standardized. I'm super new to all of this and didn't realize this question would turn into such a rabbit hole. I figure I was just not setting something up correctly. All I've done so far is build a cat feeder that keeps them from eating each other's food and I used the tags that came with the hardware for that so I guess my beginner's luck made me a bit cocky.

MrFail:
I get what your saying about the potential for using the concept for nefarious purposes but that's a bit like saying you shouldn't build a drone because one could potentially use it to deliver an explosive.

....that's why both drones and explosives are regulated?

I came to the project guidance forum hoping for project guidance. A little bit of help or direction on how to interpret the labels on these pins and using the examples sketches in what seems to be a commonly used library.

I get it, you're opposed to that specific project, it's been abandoned. But I would still like to be able to start working with this library.

If you don't know the answer to my question regarding the pins, that's fine. If you don't want to help someone who admitted in the original post that they're totally lost and the question may be dumb, that's fine. But then why even take the time to engage in the thread? I haven't been aggressive or abusive towards anyone here.

All I've gotten so far is accusations of criminal intent and assertions that I should basically just learn the technology from the ground-up until I can figure it out for myself. Well, then what's the point of sharing libraries, providing example sketches, or having help forums?

So if anyone would like to be helpful and tell me, or point me toward a place that can tell me, the difference between the labels of the pins on my hardware and the configuration referenced in the example sketches, that would be great. But if all anyone wants to do here is shit on the new guy, I'll go find a different forum.

You’ve left out some very pertinent information that would be needed to help you like you want. You’ve told which reader you have, but not what arduino. You gave a vague reference to the library you use, but no link so anyone else can look at it. You haven’t been really clear about how much you really understand about this and it would appear as though you have some basics and fundamentals to get through before you would even begin to understand the help that you say you want.

I don't think this is fraudulent, but it might still be criminal...

Might be easier to move the rfid chip in the card using acetone and put that in a fob case...

All electronic cards (RFID included) that involve money have some level of encryption.

Experts might be able to crack the encryption, but judging from your input so far, the chance of you cloning the card is zero.

Thank you, those are all helpful/informative responses.

Delta: I opened this question hoping that this was matter of there being multiple naming conventions for the same pins and that this would be something an experienced user would know so I didn't think to include those details. I did manage to answer my own question and in eventually finding the answer I can see how those details would have helped someone more experienced find that answer. So your reply was helpful and I'll be sure to include those details from the beginning in the future. It turns out the pin map that I was referencing was offering the option to connect a second reader or other sensor and that's what SS2 was referring to, NSS is the same as SS, and IRQ isn't used because they aren't using interrupt requests in any of the example sketches.

Qdeathstar: yeah that seems to be the go-to hack for this sort of thing but I was going to try out different iterations of the wearable and didn't want to damage the original chip. also didn't want to have to keep digging it out of things.

jremington: yeah, i'm definitely not trying to make any attempts at cracking encryptions. I thought that these chips were just putting out a static data packet and any encryption was happening on the back end. like, that I wouldn't need to decrypt the signal but could just duplicate the output. so, again, useful information. Really not even trying to deal with the transit card anymore though, just reading the full output of a tag, which I figured out.

Hi,
Why not put the card on a lanyard around your neck under your jacket, it would be easier than getting it out of a wallet.

Tom... :slight_smile: