Criminals Hacking Gift Card Systems in Search of Unspent Cards

by Ben Jackson 0

Security publication CSO reports that retailers are seeing attacks against their gift card systems as criminals look to find unspent cards and make a quick buck.

Traditionally, gift cards have been a quick way to make stolen credit card numbers pay off quickly. They buy the gift cards online, in bulk, then use the gift cards at their leisure or resell them, without worrying that the credit card number has been canceled — until the charge backs started coming in from the credit card companies and merchants wised up.

So criminals have been turning to hacking the gift card systems themselves, figuring out how to find the gift card numbers of cards that have already been issued, but haven’t yet been spent.

The article is based off a report published by anti-fraud company Flashpoint, which recommends that retailers make sure their fraud prevention tools such as PINs are more than window dressing. Additionally is suggests that companies avoid pitfalls like sequential card numbering.

As old fraud schemes become less profitable, retailers and others in the payments business will need to work together to anticipate future holes in fraud defenses and close them as quickly as possible.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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