Security against credit card fraud

By | December 20, 2005

Some attacks of this type also use exploits on fraudulent websites, taking advantage of a vulnerability to download keylogger Trojans that steal confidential user information.

Another more sophisticated technique is called Pharming. This involves changing the DNS content either through the TCP/IP protocol settings or the lmhost file (which acts as a local cache of server names), to redirect browsers to spoofed pages instead of the genuine ones when users access them through the browser. Moreover, if the victim of pharming is using a proxy connection to guarantee anonymity, the DNS name resolution of the proxy can be affected so that all users are directed to the false server instead of the legitimate one.

But any of these data theft systems require a level of programming ability and knowledge that is not within everyone´s reach. So the simplest way of stealing credit card details is to trick the user directly using a technique called phishing. This technique involves sending emails which apparently come from reliable sources (such as banks, etc) and are designed to obtain confidential user information. To achieve this, they often include a link to spoofed web pages. Users then, believing they are in a reliable site, enter any information requested which actually falls into the hands of the fraudster.

Despite this rather depressing panorama, security technology has evolved sufficiently to prevent confidential information from being extracted from a computer. Just as viruses can be prevented from infecting a system, by the scanning of all inbound information, outbound information can also be scanned to prevent users, in a moment of carelessness, from making a costly mistake.

Theft of personal information from a computer, so potentially dangerous when this involves bank details, can be avoided. If users install complete, effective and intelligent security solutions, no secret numbers will fall into the hands of remote users. Then all you need to do is make sure you keep the card in a safe place -after all, surely you can’t expect technology to do that for you.

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