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June 15, 2011

  • News:  How Are American Cards Being Protected 

    Recently discovered security breaches have brought about increased concern that banks, credit card companies and merchants are not taking the necessary precautions to protect Americans' card and personal information seriously. Some may argue that companies have little control over computer hackers positioned outside the United States in light of the fact that a large portion of these attacks originate in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Romania. Citi's recent security breach that compromised over 200,000 credit cards is suspected to have taken place somewhere in Europe. Sony's PlayStation Network breach is another example whereby millions of credit cards worldwide were compromised due to a foreign hacking incident.

    Statistics show that an increasing number of sophisticated forums are present in Russia; two of the world's largest are HackZone.ru with over 58,000 members and Xakep.ru with over 13,300 registered members looking to buy stolen credit card and personal data. Adding to the cost of fraud, many of these black market websites resell credit card and personal data several times over. One site, HackZone, does boast that it only sells the card once making it more valuable and of higher value.

    A variety of U.S. law authorities have joined efforts in the fight against international fraud by setting up a number of global headquarters. Working together, both the Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have established operations throughout Europe. Most recently, the Secret Service opened offices in Tallinn and Estonia adding to its already established operations in the Ukraine. The FBI has joined efforts with law enforcement agencies in Australia, Germany and Britain recently added additional operations in the Netherlands, Estonia, Ukraine and Romania. Despite the claims that most of these hacking jobs originate overseas, the fact remains that credit cardholders expect and hold U.S. companies responsible for ensuring that their security platforms cannot be penetrated from any point.

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