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Rip-Off Alert: 'Ethical hacking' works to find flaws in time

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 12/24/2013 6:19 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- The holiday season means shopping at several retailers for many people, but how safe are you when you swipe your card? In this Rip-Off Alert, how hackers can ruin your holiday.

Security researchers with the company Trustwave find flaws in technology to protect users or, in this case, shoppers.

The problem isn't in the card swiper attached to the phone -- it's in the software retailers use to process your payments.

In some cases, that software doesn't hide -- or encrypt -- your personal information, which makes it easy bait for hackers.

They can manipulate the device in a way that allows them to track activity, like credit card numbers swiped or typed in.

Trustwave recommends retailers stress-test their security and encourages what they call ethical hacking -- essentially breaking the system before it's deployed to find the weak points.

And, while it's up to retailers and banks to ensure you're protected, consumers should always be on the lookout.

They also recommend customers always keep tabs on your transactions -- especially during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.


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