Tech

Hackers guess payment card numbers by brute force, and there is nothing you can do about it

Facepalm: There are several ways for criminals to obtain information about credit and debit cards, but one attack method is particularly troubling as the victims are virtually defenseless. Even if you do everything according to the rules and follow all security measures, there is still a chance that someone could directly guess your account details using brute force.

NordVPN recently partnered with independent cybersecurity researchers to analyze a database of nearly 4.5 million payment cards for sale on the dark web.

The VPN service provider discovered that most of the cards – 1,561,739 to be exact – were from the United States. Visa cards are the most common in this region, followed by Mastercard and American Express. To make matters worse, the average cost of buying card parts in the US was only $ 5.81.

Globally, debit cards were more prevalent on the darknet than credit cards, according to researchers. According to NordVPN, this is because hacked debit cards tend to have fewer victim protections compared to credit cards.

Perhaps even more disturbing is how hackers get card dataHacking a database is still a viable route, but now hackers can pick or guess payment card details. NordVPN notes that most systems limit the number of guesses that can be made in a short period of time, but adds that experienced hackers can get around this.

Most major payment cards are 16 digits long, which can seem pretty secure in terms of length. Now you can know what is account number standardsand the few numbers on your card are identifiers that are not unique to your individual account. This means that hackers have even fewer numbers to guess in order to find the “winning” combination.

Unfortunately, there is little that consumers can do to protect themselves from a brute force attack like this, other than completely refraining from using cards. NordVPN states that your best line of defense is to remain vigilant and check your monthly statement for suspicious activity.

Image Credit Pixabay


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