December 5, 2016
A group of researchers at Newcastle University found that with the help of a new tool, they can hack Visa credit card numbers in 6 seconds. These researchers used brute force attack to obtain credit card number, expiration date and CVV numbers from various ecommerce sites. This tool uses permutations and combinations of CVV numbers and expiration dates on hundreds of ecommerce sites to hack credit card numbers within seconds.
The researchers could not use this tool to hack credit card numbers of MasterCards as these cards are automatically blocked after 100 attempts of unsuccessful usage. Hence, this tool could not use permutations to hack MasterCard information from ecommerce sites. The researchers, Martin Emms, Aad van Moorsel, Budi Arief and Mohammed Aamir Ali believe that this tool can also be used by hackers to determine where the credit cards are used. They also believe that hackers are already using this tool to steal credit card information.
According to the researchers, centralization or standardization or card payment networks across merchants can help in the prevention of such attacks. However, centralization or standardization of payment networks may not a viable solution given that consumers prefer choosing from multiple payment options. Visa and other stakeholders will need to come up with a system similar to that of MasterCard to prevent such hacking attacks.
Precautions to take
If you are a Visa credit cardholder, you should ensure that you use your card for payments only on trusted sites. Always opt for OTP or use your Verified By Visa password to authenticate online transactions. You should monitor your credit card usage on a regular basis and contact the card issuer immediately if you notice any unrecognized charges on your card.