DMV credit card hack hits thousands in California

Mar 23, 2014
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DMV credit card hack hits thousands in California

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is the next in line to fall prey to an extensive credit card security breach. A private alert sent out by MasterCard to different banks, states that online transactions for DMV-related services have been the source of the breach and has affected thousands of citizens and their data. The news comes close to heels of the Target incident, where data involving over 110 million of its customer’s credit cards was breached.

Security researcher Brian Krebs notes that the alerts sent out to banks and financial institutions puts the date-range for the compromised transactions as 2nd August 2013 to 31st January 2014. The alert also warns that the data stolen includes details like card number, expiration date, and the CVV (the three-digit security code printed on the back of cards).

In a statement to clarify its stand, the California DMV said that the law enforcement authorities had alerted it to the potential security threat, in relation to the credit cards used for online transactions. However, it also says that it has not yet found any link between the breach and the DMV’s computer system, and will exercise caution.

There is no clarity on how many cards could have been affected by the data theft, but to help put things into perspective, Krebs notes that one bank that got the MasterCard alert that said almost a thousand cards had been affected. The same bank had three thousand cards affected during the Target attack and we all know that almost 40 million cards were affected overall.

On an average, there were 12 million online transactions were carried out on California's DMV website in 2012, this is a 6% increase from 2011. Till we don’t get the actual numbers, we can only speculate how many cards are affected in this new attack, based on these basic stats.


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