Deep dive on PCI DSS 4.0 API Security Requirements

Carding Attack

February 14, 2024

A carding attack is a cybercrime where stolen credit card information is used to make unauthorized transactions or purchases. It involves obtaining and using someone else’s credit card details without their consent, often for financial gain or illegally acquiring goods or services.  


In a carding attack, cybercriminals typically obtain credit card information through various means, such as hacking into databases, phishing scams, skimming devices, or purchasing stolen credit card data from the dark web. Once they have the card details, they use them to make fraudulent online transactions or create counterfeit credit cards for in-person purchases.  


The process of carding involves several stages. First, cybercriminals acquire credit card information, which includes the cardholder’s name, card number, expiration date, and security code. They may also gather additional personal information about the victim, such as their address and phone number, to bypass security measures.  


Next, the attackers validate the stolen card information by using online tools or making small transactions to check if the card is still active and valid. Once the card is confirmed to work, they make larger purchases or sell the card details on underground forums.  


Carding attacks can have severe consequences for both individuals and businesses. For cardholders, unauthorized transactions can result in financial losses, damage to credit scores, and the hassle of resolving fraudulent charges. On the other hand, businesses that fall victim to carding attacks may face financial losses, reputational damage, and potential legal consequences.  


Individuals and businesses must take proactive measures to mitigate the risks associated with carding attacks. Individuals must safeguard their credit card information by regularly monitoring their accounts for suspicious activity, using strong and unique passwords, and being cautious when sharing personal information online.  


Businesses, especially those that handle customer payment information, should implement robust security measures. This includes using secure payment gateways, encrypting customer data, implementing multi-factor authentication, and regularly updating security software. Additionally, businesses should educate their employees and customers about the risks of carding attacks and the importance of practicing good cybersecurity hygiene.  


Law enforcement agencies and financial institutions also play a vital role in combating card attacks. They employ techniques such as advanced fraud detection systems, collaboration with international agencies, and conducting investigations to identify and apprehend cybercriminals involved in carding activities.