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The basics of credit card hacking

As nowadays fund transfers and online shopping are taking up a huge majority of our finances, the number of related of frauds are on the rise as well. Today we dive into the topic of credit card hacking. We will discuss vulnerabilities in credit and debit card functionality that can help hackers steal data.

Online banking utilizes SSL, and people tend to believe that their accounts cannot be hacked because their transactions are secured by extra security layer, SSL, but it is actually possible to break it. So, do not just depend on payment sites and their security methods. But first things first, let’s see how a credit card works.

How can credit cards be attacked?

It is virtually impossible to see the actual data that is transferred during credit card transaction, however, there are ways to detect the information. By using session hijacking and packet sniffing we can achieve see the data in an encrypted form.

The flaw that enables sensitive information to be stolen occurs when an end-user is running into the SSL exploit called SSL Man-in-the-middle (MITM). These are system loopholes hackers use to steal sensitive data. MITM attacks happen when the server key has been stolen, or the user trusts an unworthy content, or (s)he is not bothered by the fact that the certificates of the website are expired.

Explaining the hacking

A hacker can get into the WIFI network you are using, and there he can run a series of utilities to redirect other user data through his machine, followed by more utilities to sniff the data, acting as an SSL Certificate Server to be the Man-the-Middle. A fake certificate is being sent from the hacker to you, as you are actually connecting to his machine, not directly to the bank’s website. Your credentials are being then transmitted between the browser and the hacker, who is able to grab the traffic and decrypt the data, as he gave you the certificate in the first place.

What happens after?

The basic idea is that people steal credit cards to purchase things. But this would be easy to detect and catch, so they create rings. There are people who buy and sell card numbers in online markets, and there are the people who actually make fake cards. Then there are recruiters who find people to make purchases with the fake cards. And in the end, someone walks into a store with the counterfeit card and try to make purchases.

Sometimes buyers get caught if they use a fake card in a store. Fake cards often carry the stolen number on their magnetic strip but have a dummy number on the card itself. To try and detect fake cards, the cashier may enter the last four digits of the dummy number, and flag the purchase if they do not match the last four digits that are being charged.

Credit card hackings are on the rise, and it is not like they are going to stop anytime soon. Always check your banking credentials and purchases, and take actions as soon as you see something suspicious. Do not let your card be utilized by scammers and hackers.


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