As PM Modi pushes for a cashless society in the aftermath of the demonetization drive, people are discussing about all the issues. Some say its a distant dream. Some find it to be a fantasy. Even as small villages are going cashless.
Is going cashless a good thing? Some think so and logic tells us that it will dent black money and corruption in a big way. But is it safe for ordinary people?
Using debit and credit cards is fraught with a lot of danger.
In a research paper titled Does The Online Card Payment Landscape Unwittingly Facilitate Fraud? , researchers from the University of Newcastle have discussed a scary way to hack into credit cards based on the Visa system of payment. Using what is known as the Distributed Guessing Attack, the hackers can get your credit card info in – just 6 seconds flat!
The steps are simple and take seconds to process for a well targeted software.
Attackers gets his/her to-be-hacked credit card numbers from black-market (for less than a dollar each!). Or he could hack into a smartphone with Near-field communication (NFC) reader.
Hackers takes the 16 digit card number and forces the 3-digit card verifictaion value (CVV) and expiration date to sites of hundreds of retailers simultaneously using web bots. CVV takes 1000 guesses and expiration date is much easier at 60 attempts!
Finally the bots are used to get the address, if it is needed.
The entire time? 6 seconds! Here it is in a video:
This is scary for anyone. But it gets scarier when we know that in India millions – close to billions – will go cashless very soon. How will one secure himself/herself from this easy hack? Specially when Pakistanis are waiting to pounce on opportunities to screw with the economic systems in India?
For one, do NOT use the Visa card system. Mastercard based credit cars are much more secure in that Mastercard locks a card if anyone tries to guess/force card details multiple times. Even tried across multiple websites!
Featured Image Suorce: Pixabay