Quite often, the conveniences the digital world offers come with risks of their own, and people around the world are waking up to its many facets. Electronic payment systems, the most vulnerable among the online services, could become a bane rather than boon if safety is compromised. The double benefit of being able to siphon the owner’s money while also stealing personal information makes credit cards the favorite of hackers.
While it is fun to make payments on multiple devices at the tap of a finger, not taking adequate safety measures could be disastrous. Leisure would give way to gloom when a traveler suddenly realizes that hackers have emptied his digital wallet. Worryingly, the thieves are constantly perfecting their skills to outsmart every new encryption technology.
Online travel portal Orbitz is the latest victim of data theft. In a massive breach, credit card data including personal details of a whopping 880,000 customers were compromised. Alarmingly, the hackers are suspected to have stolen sensitive information like date of birth, telephone numbers email IDs, addresses and phone numbers of the affected cardholders.
The fact that it took several months for the incident to get exposed shows how grave the danger is. Now, the hackers are free to use all the information they have leaked from a legacy website operated by Orbitz and one of its partner websites. While the matter will be confirmed only after an investigation, Orbitz’ parent Expedia (EXPE) seems to be unaffected.
The company responded promptly by offering customers a free package for credit monitoring and identity protection for a period of one year so that any potential misuse of the stolen information could be prevented.
In the cyber attack, credit card data of around 880,000 Orbitz customers were compromised
In a similar incident, online criminals trespassed into the server of OnePlus in January this year; and personal information of more than 400,000 customers was exposed. Yahoo, Equifax, and Chipotle were the other major victims of the data breach in recent times.
Elsewhere, cyber frauds recently attacked UK-based gaming company National Lottery, owned by the Camelot Group, for the second time in less than two years and leaked sensitive data. The incident prompted the company to ask around 10 million of its customers to change their passwords.