Credit card fraud case a wake-up call

Marketplace Staff Aug 18, 2009
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Credit card fraud case a wake-up call

Marketplace Staff Aug 18, 2009
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: None of that might not seem very important if right now you’re wondering whether your credit card number’s been stolen. Prosecutors have charged three men with stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers. It’s the biggest known identity theft in history. Joining us live is Ivan Zatkovich. He’s with the computer consulting firm E-Comp Consultants. Good morning.

Ivan Zatkovich: Morning

Radke: A hundred thirty million numbers seems staggering to me. But what about to you?

Zatkovich: It does, but in this particular case, they hacked in to a payment gateway system, which is actually a central hub for processing millions of credit card transactions specifically for outlets like 7-Eleven and supermarket outlets like Hannaford Brothers supermarkets, so in this particular case it’s not surprising.

Radke: Why can’t banks encrypt those card numbers and keep them secure?

Zatkovich: They can. In this particular case, the company that operated this gateway system, Heartland Payment Systems, assumed their system was secure behind a firewall, which turned out not to be the case.

Radke: Is this something that banks can stop if they want to, but it’s expensive? Or is it a matter of legal regulation? Or what?

Zatkovich: I think it’s a matter of diligence in terms of data security for these companies that run these payment gateway systems. In fact, Heartland Payment Systems was cited in 2007 of being out of compliance with data security and were just reinstated last year by Visa after meeting compliance and as recently as this year they’ve been touting themselves as a leader in data security. Which turns out not the be case.

Radke: So what are the odds that this is just going to keep on happening?

Zatkovich: I think this is going to be a wake-up call. Now that it’s known you can use a particular hacking method to get into a payment gateway, I guarantee you there will be hackers out there attempting this on other payment gateway systems. So I think this is going to be a major wake-up call.

Radke: Ivan Zatkovich with the computer consulting firm E-Comp Consultants. Thank you.

Zatkovich: You’re welcome.

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