As China moves to payment cards, cybercriminals follow

Trend Micro says there's high interest in card fraud as more people move away from cash

As China increasingly embraces payment cards over cash, Trend Micro is seeing an uptick in cybercriminal activity aimed at card fraud.

The security company published a new study of the Chinese underground cybercriminal market, which shows a strong interest in ways to capture payment card details.

"Cybercriminals quickly jumped on the noncash payment bandwagon," wrote report author Lion Gu of Trend Micro's Forward-Looking Threat Research Team.

The market for such tools has been strong in countries that heavily use payment cards, so it's probably not surprising that the trade would rise in China.

But it does mean that retailers there may begin face to facing an increasing risk from data breaches that have stung companies such as Target, Home Depot and many others.

One website found by Gu offered point-of-sale devices that had been modified in order to send payment card details captured from a card's magnetic stripe over SMS to fraudsters.

The way the devices are sold -- from the criminals to resellers to retailers and then onto businesses -- means some in the supply chain may not know the devices have been altered. It's also advantageous for the cybercriminals, Gu wrote. 

"Cybercriminals do not even have to physically collect stolen information from installed devices, allowing them greater flexibility and convenience," he wrote.

ATM skimmers are also sold on some business-to-business online marketplaces for around ¥4,000 (US$630). These are usually devices that fit over an ATM's card slot and can record card details. Gu wrote some come with PIN pad overlays, which record a card's secret number.

Another product Gu found is aimed at people who have brief access to a person's payment card, a so-called "pocket skimmer" 

"An unscrupulous store staff member can, for instance, swipe an unwitting customer’s card on a pocket skimmer in order to steal track data that he/she can later use for fraud," he wrote.

The pocket skimmer doesn't need a network connection or an external power supply. It can collect the details of up to 2,048 cards, which can be downloaded to a computer later with a USB cable.

 

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?