Feeds

Fraudsters pool data to beat plastic fraud checks

Post code lottery fix

Reducing security risks from open source software

Credit card conmen have developed a technique for making fraudulent purchases in the UK appear more legitimate.

The approach relies on subverting the address verification system (AVS), one of the main components used to verify card purchases. Address verification, along with the card security code number printed on the back of debit and credit cards and expiry dates, is commonly needed to make ecommerce purchases in the UK. The system is also used in the US and Canada but not in countries in mainland Europe.

The address verification system takes the numeric parts of a cardholder's billing address and checks this against that submitted during a transaction. For example if Joe Bloggs lives at 12 High Street, Walthamstow E17 7HQ, AVS will check 12 and 177.

The checks have the potential to flag up transactions where the shipping address differs from the billing address or the billing address submitted is wrong.

However fraudsters have begun exploiting the fact that many addresses can have the same AVS code. By making sure billing addresses and delivery addresses used in scams have the same code they make it more likely that purchases will go through.

Merchants will be none the wiser that anything is amiss until they get hit by chargeback charges after the legitimate card holders complain of fraudulent purchases.

Andrew Goodwill, of credit card fraud protection specialist The 3rd Man, said that it had detected 50 cases of fraudulent purchases made using the technique over the last month or so. Most of these cases came from London.

"Fraudsters have developed a massive cross reference database. It may be the information was drawn from fraudsters sharing data among themselves to the use of social engineering tricks to intimidate call centre staff into handing over details," Goodwill told El Reg. He added that defending against the approach may be very difficult. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
L33t haxxors compete to p0wn popular home routers
EFF-endorsed SOHOpelessly Broken challenge will air routers' dirty zero day laundry
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.