AP IMPACT: Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks
An AP newswire article by Jordan Robertson, via SFGate.com, reports that:
Every time you swipe your credit card and wait for the transaction to be approved, sensitive data including your name and account number are ferried from store to bank through computer networks, each step a potential opening for hackers.More here.
And while you may take steps to protect yourself against identity theft, an Associated Press investigation has found the banks and other companies that handle your information are not being nearly as cautious as they could.
The government leaves it to card companies to design security rules that protect the nation's 50 billion annual transactions. Yet an examination of those industry requirements explains why so many breaches occur: The rules are cursory at best and all but meaningless at worst, according to the AP's analysis of data breaches dating to 2005.
It means every time you pay with plastic, companies are gambling with your personal data. If hackers intercept your numbers, you'll spend weeks straightening your mangled credit, though you can't be held liable for unauthorized charges. Even if your transaction isn't hacked, you still lose: Merchants pass to all their customers the costs they incur from fraud.