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June 14, 2011

  • Citi Breach Simple Process, Pt.1
       How did the thieves do it?

    Citigroup customers are asking how is it possible that one of the nation's largest credit card companies could have been so vulnerable to a security breach. New details of the recent computer hacking into Citi's credit card users website revealed that thieves were able to easily access the information. Considered to be one of the boldest attacks in history, the thieves gained access to card data of more than 200,000 customers. According to the bank's release, the hackers stole the names, account numbers, e-mail addresses and transaction histories but did not access and Social Security Numbers.

    So how did the thieves access the information? Recent details reveal that they were able to sign on to the Citigroup's customer website as a regular credit cardholder. A glitch allowed them to enter random credit card numbers in the browser's address bar, they were able to access the thousands of card data. The hackers had a code system that automatically repeated the process selecting a different credit card number each time. It's a very simple process that when used at just the right point in Citi's security system, the thieves were able to become successful.

    Finding the bank's vulnerability point was not an easy process which makes one wonder how the thieves were able to detect it. According to one expert, preparing for such an attack would have been very difficult. Citi officials refuse to comment any further on the breach and simply say that there is an ongoing investigation. A bank spokesperson, Sean Kevelighan said that the bank took steps to initiate internal fraud alerts immediately upon learning of the attack. Security experts fear that the sophistication level of Citi's breach is just the beginning of the high tech systems that credit card customers must fear going forward. Read part two to learn about what is currently motivating card thieves to step up their attacks.

    Continued...
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