Daily Debrief: Forty million card numbers compromised

In Wednesday's edition of the Daily Debrief, CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Dan Farber discuss the latest charges against 11 people accused of hacking into wireless networks to steal credit and debit card information.


It's the latest iteration of white collar crime. And it's expensive, destructive, and a serious nuisance for victims. I'm talking about credit and debit card theft via wireless networks. Recently, a multinational group of 11 was charged with stealing more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers.

The crime plays upon the vulnerability of a retailer's wireless networks. In a technique dubbed "war-driving," criminals cruise by stores, looking for holes in the security system so they can extract all the vital credit and debit card information. Once obtained, the numbers could be reprinted onto actual physical cards to be sold off on the black market. I'm oversimplifying the process by a few steps, but nonetheless, it highlights the ease--and also the sophistication--of these hackers in search of victims.

In Wednesday's edition of the Daily Debrief, I sit down with CNET News Editor-in-chief Dan Farber to discuss the attack and the long way technology has to go before it can provide the necessary safeguards for consumers. You needn't turn to all cash and cut up your credit and debit cards just yet, he advises.

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