Ten-thousands Belgian credit cards were blocked because hackers copied cardnumbers. This was published by Febelfin (the Federation of the Belgian finance sector) on tuesday October 20th 2009. It was stated that the criminals copied the numbers after they gained access to computer files. The hackers did not succeed in retrieving the pincodes.

I find it very strange that hackers were able to retrieve creditcard numbers from computer files. Specifically since PCI puts great restrictions on storing this stuff:

  1. PCI 3.1 – Keep cardholder data storage to a minimum
  2. PCI 3.2 – Do not store sensitive authentication data after authorization
  3. PCI 3.4 – Render PAN (PAN == cc-number), at minimum unreadable anywhere it is stored by using one of the following: one-way hash, truncation, strong cryptography with associated key-management processes and procedures
  4. PCI 3.4.1 – If dis encryption is used rather then file or database encryption, logical access must be managed independently of native OS access control

There are other requirements but the above give a good idea of the caution you must take when deciding to store this data. The full list of requirements can be downloaded from https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/pci_dss_download.html

Personally, I think these news items should contain more information, or should be evaluated somewhere so people can learn from the mistakes made by others. By being open on the causes of these problems people can easily prevent the holes that others left open. I know, this will probably not happen any time soon… 🙂

Link to original story: http://www.elsevier.nl/web/Nieuws/Internet-Gadgets/248802/Duizenden-creditcards-geblokkeerd-na-aanval-hackers.htm#

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