Consumers continue to face data breach risks

Consumers who use credit and debit cards may be putting their personal finance information at risk, a reality that became evident with a recent cyber attack on a card processing company.

Global Payments announced last week, according to CNN, that hackers had breached their secure network and stole up to 1.5 million card numbers, though no personal information such as names or Social Security numbers were accessed.

The breach was one of several in the past few years. Throughout the past year alone, large corporations like Google, Sony’s Playstation Network, National Public Radio and the International Monetary Fund were targets of cyber attacks. In June, hackers stole information from close to 400,000 credit card accounts at Citigroup, according to CBS News.

Once hackers acquire customer and cardholder data, they use it to search through the web for other information about the consumer. Then, in a scam known as spear phishing, a targeted email resembling those distributed by banks is sent to the customer with the possibility that the consumer will give up even more personal information, CBS News reports.

Yaron Samid, the CEO of Bill Guard, a personal finance security firm, said that hackers who have confidential data will try to sell it on the black market and will confirm that the card is active by charging small monetary amounts to the card, according to CBS News.

Security breaches and hacking affect up to eight million consumers in the U.S. every year. A recent survey by Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that consumers who were notified of a security breach were approximately 10 times more likely to be the victims of fraud compared to those who did not receive notifications.

One Response to Consumers continue to face data breach risks

  1. From what we know, the Global Payments hackers may have managed to gain access to Track 2 data, which includes the account number, the card’s expiration date and some other pieces of data, but not the cardholder’s name, address, SSN and the card security code. So cardholders should now be on a high alert for phishing attacks, which may be employed by the criminals as a way to obtain the missing data. Of course, that depends on the hackers having obtained their victims’ email addresses, which we don’t know.