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Beware Of Growing Credit Card Fraud! You May Be Next!!

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posted on May, 25 2007 @ 09:55 AM
Credit Card fraud has been on the rise at a breathtaking pace. The latest to be involved is the big American retailer TKX that owns TK Maxx, which has released as little information as possible. But according to Wall Street Journal something between 47.5m and 200m credit card numbers were stolen by a sophisticated crime ring of Romanian hackers and Russian mafia.

What is really frightening about the break-in is that it worked because the company was using the same technology that you or I use when we connect to a wireless network. I don't, for example, encrypt my wireless network at home, though I do restrict access to the family laptops. But anyone who really wanted to could sit across the road with a laptop and read everything that was transmitted over the wireless network in my house.

This is more or less how the TKX hackers started. They sat in the parking lot of a mall and eavesdropped on the wireless traffic within the shop beyond. You might not think of large shops as hubs of Wi-Fi activity, but they are. How else does the magic box into which a waiter shoves your credit card at the end of a meal check that you can really afford it? How else does the magic wand that reads prices from barcodes work its magic? All this wireless traffic is encrypted, of course, but in the case of TKX, it was encrypted using the old, weak, WEP standard - which is almost certainly what you are using at home.

Once the hackers had collected enough data from low-level activity to break the WEP cypher being used by a store, they could then listen in to all its traffic with the main data warehouses, and pick from that stream user names and passwords, which let them log in as trusted employees.

As per the article by Andrew Brown, a group of German security researchers published a method recently, that will enable any WEP key to be cracked in two minutes flat from an ordinary laptop!

Have you checked your credit card bill lately? Do it now before it’s too late!




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