Amazon bans Flipper Zero

E-commerce giant Amazon has recently banned the sale of the Flipper Zero portable multi-tool for pen-testers, citing its potential use as a card-skimming device. The move has prompted Flipper Devices’ CEO Pavel Zhovner to ask Amazon to reconsider its decision, insisting that the device is incapable of such illegal activity.

The Flipper Zero is a compact, portable, and programmable pen-testing tool that enables users to experiment with and debug various digital and hardware devices using multiple protocols, including RFID, radio, NFC, infrared, Bluetooth, and more. Since its launch, users have showcased its capabilities, including activating doorbells, conducting replay attacks to unlock cars and open garage doors, and cloning a wide range of digital keys.

However, Amazon’s recent notice to sellers tagged the Flipper Zero as a “restricted product,” banning it from the platform. Card-skimming devices fall under the Lock Picking & Theft Devices restricted product category on Amazon’s Seller Central portal, alongside key duplicating devices and shoplifting devices like sensormatic detachers.

Some Amazon links that used to sell Flipper Zero tools currently display “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page. Try searching or go to Amazon’s home page.” errors, while others simply list the product as “Unavailable.” If you search for Flipper Zero on Amazon, you will only find listings for accessories like WiFi Devboards, screen protectors, and silicone cases.

The reason for this is due to Amazon’s policy prohibiting the sale or listing of card skimming devices. An Amazon seller received a notification (verified by Bleepingcomputer) stating that a Flipper Zero sell page had been removed from Amazon’s catalog because “This product has been identified as a card skimming device.”

Amazon’s message to the seller also included a reminder that it is their responsibility to ensure that the products they offer comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Amazon’s policies. Therefore, it seems that Amazon has taken a strong stance against selling products that could be used for illegal activities.

Amazon Flipper ban email
Amazon Flipper ban email (credits: Bleepingcomputer)

It is believed that the ban was triggered by the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency which had seized incoming Flipper Zero purchases based on its alleged use by criminals. Brazilian buyers of the device claim that the government agency has rejected all attempts to certify the device.

Amazon has also issued a warning to Flipper Zero sellers, urging them to remove all other restricted products from their listings within 48 hours or face account deactivation. The warning states that failure to comply may result in the deactivation of the seller’s account, and funds may be permanently held.

While some Flipper Zero potential buyers may be disappointed by the Amazon ban, others are not affected as the device is still available for purchase from the maker’s official store, which is regularly restocked.

As of this writing, an Amazon spokesperson was not available for comment, leaving it unclear whether the ban is temporary or if the company plans to maintain the sale restriction. Regardless, it is clear that the Flipper Zero’s potential use in criminal activities has raised concerns among regulators and online retailers alike.

Flipper Devices’ CEO maintains that the company has no intention of promoting illegal activities and has designed the device solely for legitimate pen-testing purposes.

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