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Carding: What is it and how can you Safeguard Yourself ?

Carding has attracted a lot of attention recently, but not everyone understands what it includes. Carding is a type of credit card fraud that occurs when a stolen bank card is used to make purchases. It is a criminal act that affects both consumers and merchants. So, what exactly is carding, how do cybercriminals do it, and what are the risks? 

Carding is the illegal acquisition of goods or services through the use of another person's credit card information. This can be accomplished by stealing someone's credit card information or purchasing stolen financial data on the internet. Cybercriminals target online stores because they can purchase goods like electronics and other high-value items anonymously.

In some cases, criminals may sell or exchange stolen credit card information with others in underground forums. However apart from that, since such transactions are difficult to track, many cybercriminals buy gift cards or other types of prepaid cards. Many malicious hackers buy items with stolen cards and then sell them for a lower price for cash, earning money illegally. The main danger of carding is identity theft, as criminals can use stolen credit card information to buy items with someone else's money. If a credit card is used fraudulently and the user is unaware, financial losses or even criminal charges may result. 

Carding is carried out in a variety of ways by lawbreakers. They can use a variety of software tools to scan and find vulnerable websites, as well as brute-force password, cracking. Here are some other popular methods of carding used by cybercriminals:Phishing: One of the most common methods is "phishing," in which criminals send emails or messages posing as legitimate companies and requesting credit card information.Skimming: Skimmers, which are devices attached to ATMs and card readers, can also be used by criminals. Without the user's knowledge, the device collects credit card information.PoS Malware: PoS malware is a type of malicious software that is designed to steal credit card information from retail stores and restaurants. This is a more advanced method of carding because it necessitates specialised knowledge and resources.Zero-day vulnerabilities: Some criminals also use zero-day vulnerabilities, which are security flaws in software applications and operating systems that vendors have not yet discovered. To gain access to private data stored in databases, zero-day vulnerabilities can be exploited.

What is the process of carding?Carding is usually implemented in the following steps.Step 1: Card information has been stolen.The first step in carding is to obtain credit card information. This can be accomplished through one of the aforementioned methods, such as phishing, skimming, and so on.Step 2: Card information is validated.Once the credit card information has been obtained, it must be verified to ensure that it is valid. Criminals typically carry out this step by making a small purchase on one or more websites and then watching to see if it is successful. It could be as little as $1, for example.

Step 3: Card information is used for purchases.Criminals are now using substantiated card details to buy products or services from various websites. This enables them to profit by reselling the purchased items for cash (or they might just enjoy the products themselves).Step 4: The transfer of fundsFinally, criminals transfer their illegally obtained cash using money laundering methods. They might also sell stolen credit card information on underground forums and dark web markets.

How to guard against carding attacks?The best way to avoid carding is to take preventive measures and be cautious when using or sharing your credit card information.The most obvious piece of advice is to be cautious with your information. Don't give out your credit card information to anyone, and be especially cautious when providing it online, as criminals may use phishing techniques to gain access to your information. Check your credit card statements on a regular basis to ensure that all transactions are legitimate. If you notice any suspicious activity, contact your bank right away. Use strong passwords for all of your online accounts. This will prevent criminals from accessing your financial information.

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