Every time sensitive user financial data is breached, we are forced to face the darker side of the technology and confront the harsh truth that our online data and information are not as secure as we would like them to be.
The most recent victim of financial and user data theft is Japan, where the hackers used cloned credit cards to withdraw more than 12.7 million dollars, equivalent to 1.4 billion yen.
The coordinated heist was conducted in just less than two hours, with more than 14,000 ATM transactions across the country. Thus far, the authorities speculate involvement of more than 100 people in this flash-mob style heist. All the transactions were carried out at the convenience store Seven, Bank ATMs, with each unlawful transaction amounting to the maximum withdrawal amount of 100,000 yen.
Law enforcing authorities believe that the data breach came from the South African bank, where the nimble hackers broke through the security barriers and gained access to the user data. The same ill-begotten information was then used to print more than 1600 forged credit cards.
Although cloning credit cards with the ill-acquired data is quite easy, it is the data theft which remains the main focus of the authorities. Since the experts believe that the data breach came from the South African Bank, thus the Japanese and the South African police are coordinating with the INTERPOL as well as the ICO (International Criminal Police Organization) to determine the culprits behind this heist. The use of data skimmers to collect the initial data has not been discarded yet.
The scientists and researchers are actively making efforts to develop a forge-free credit card. However, as the data thieves and hackers use more innovative techniques, online security and personal safety continue to be a big question.