Study: Hackers can get your credit card info in 6 seconds just by guessing it

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In troubling news, a paper from researchers at Newcastle University in the UK claims that Visa’s credit-card payment system can be compromised online in “as little as six seconds.” The security flaw was possibly the point of entry for the cyber-attack on the UK’s Tesco Bank that lost £2.5 million.

This isn’t some high-level hacking going on here either — all it takes for a determined thief to grab a treasure trove full of card data is a laptop with an internet connection and some basic guesswork, the paper says. 

The team of researchers, led by PhD student Mohammed Ali, call the method “the Distributed Guessing Attack.” It’s a simple approach: a thief generates random numbers to guess combinations of card numbers, expiration dates and CVV codes (that three-digit number typically found on the back of the card). The video below demonstrates just how easy it is to generate all of these fields quickly: Read more…

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