Web bots now used by thieves to guess Visa card details.

Many a times we go online to shop for items and at the end of the day, we click on the option to pay with our Visa cards or Master cards. But have you ever wondered if that was safe? not very, says some researchers from Newcastle University. They discovered that thieves can and have been using web bots to guess Visa card and debit card details, this is a result of a flaw in the company’s payment system.

These bots are able to find expiration dates and CVVs, CVVs are those three digits at the back of your card, they do this by spreading guesses across so many online markets or shopping sites, plugging numbers into the fields until wham… it clicks. The most difficult or their main challenge, is getting the 16-digits card numbers which they buy usually or generate using an algorithm. That may sound like yeah, it takes times but nope, all that takes just 6 seconds.

The success of these bots is as a result of Visa’s lack of checks for the probability of something like this happening. The online stores themselves are not even helping because they allow countless number of entries of digits. Your master card unlike the Visa card will shut down after less than 10 entries but Visa would not.

It was found that this technique was used on a recent attack  on UK retailer  Tesco which racked up to $3.2 million in fraud. A response is however expected from Visa but for now, before the company sets up a Master card-like check to prevent future re-occurrences, you will do well to always check your Visa card statements.


A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services, based on the cardholder’s promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts so paid plus other agreed charges.



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