Feeds

Fraudsters pool data to beat plastic fraud checks

Post code lottery fix

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.