Credit card hacks allow snides to steal your money

2 October 2014

creditcards Over in That America, they're currently getting ready to join the rest of us in the chip-and-pin world. However, while the USA finally catches up with the rest of us, hackers have been indulging in a stealing spree, grabbing all the numbers they can.

There's programs called RAM Scrapers, which sounds like an awful sexual health procedure. Where ATM skimmers physically take data as you put your card into a machine, RAM Scrapers are a bit more sophisticated.

They snoop around inside a system's memory and instead of getting physical access, the hackers just need to get into a target's network to set their malware off.

And these sneaky little programs all have names like Dexter and ChewBacca and they get into a system's RAM to find the bits that match up with the card data. While data is encrypted with above-board companies, in the dark recesses of the pirate internet, this isn't a problem and while point-of-sale devices don't store credit card numbers, the data still ends up floating around, somewhere in the RAM.

Wired, say this: "The scrapers usually encrypt and store the stolen data somewhere on the victim's network until the attackers can retrieve it remotely. Or they can program their scraper to send the encrypted data automatically over the internet at regular intervals, passing it through various proxy servers before it reaches its final destination."

Mercifully, in Britain, this is all scuppered by micro-chip authentication for all sales, but for our American cousins, until they get switched over to C&P, they could well be getting their unmentionables scraped.

TOPICS:   Scams   Credit Cards

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