Is your Credit Card for Sale? Part 1

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Is your Credit Card for Sale?January 12, 2016. Hello, and welcome back to the Managed blog. Let’s get on with today’s topic. Today, almost everything is online on the Internet, and almost everything we do is connected, in one way or another, to the Internet. For example, using our credit cards, we can buy items off of ecommerce websites like, and purchase music, games, movies, and more from online services like Steam, Netflix, or AliExpress. But remember, just because you keep your personal details safe, doesn’t mean that they are.

You might click on a link in a tweet or on a website that takes you to another site that could be loaded with hidden malware, which can then install a keylogging software. Keylogging means that any and all keystrokes are recorded. With the keystrokes being recorded secretly, hackers can find out your login ID and password for anything, including your online bank account, where they can then clear out your account or max out your credit limit. Hackers can also send phishing emails to you using a fake profile; when you either download the attachment or click on the link, the keylogging software can be installed, again, without you knowing what happened, and the hackers can find out your login IDs as soon as you being typing.

Attacks like these are not only confined to the digital realm; rather, even something as simple as withdrawing money from an ATM or paying the bill at a restaurant can lead to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), like your credit card number, being stolen. One of the most well-known and most dangerous physical PII attacks is ATM Skimming. Skimming is a process where a person put’s their card into the machine, but the machine, which has been tampered with, ‘skims’ the data off of the card’s magnetic backing. Now, hackers hold your card’s information, which they can use to make duplicates for their own use. But what about your PIN number? Surely that’s safe? Well, ATMs can be hacked and fitted with keylogging software, which can track your keystrokes. Or, the ATM can have a hidden camera fitted in it that will see you pressing the buttons on the keypad.

These PII attacks are becoming more and more dangerous to people and businesses. For example, who can forget the Thanksgiving 2013 hack attack on the American retail chain, Target? According to Bloomberg, over 40 million accounts were stolen, complete with names, addresses, and phone and credit card numbers. And while the situation was under control after a while, the ramifications of this attack shook the cybersecurity world.

So, there are the problems, but what are the solutions? Next week, we will look into the ways you can mitigate the threats. Until then, thanks for reading this week’s post, and we’ll see you next time.

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