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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San Francisco’s Muni transit system hacked, resulting in free rides for all

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The nightmare hacking scenario many have feared has finally happened near the heart of Silicon Valley: a major rapid transit system has been hacked. 

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation System, known locally as Muni, was hacked on Friday, with hackers leaving the message ‘You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted,’ on Muni computer screens around the city on Saturday, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The message from the hackers also included a contact email address that Muni officials could supposedly “contact for [the encryption] key.” The hacking incident was confirmed by a Muni worker who spoke to the paper, however, the man declined to give his name for fear of “workplace retaliation.” Read more…

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