Credit-card hacking at gas stations is no new threat – but the nature of these threats continues to evolve as hackers develop new tactics. Previously, these kind of attacks relied on physical hardware installed at the pump in order to access your information. However, a new threat to Visa cardholders has emerged which operates without a physical installation at the pump.
The elite hacking group known collectively as FIN8 is actively exploiting vulnerabilities in gas station point-of-sale networks to skim card data without the need for modifications at the actual pumps… By hooking into the underlying systems that process customer payments, FIN8’s attack is completely undetectable by a customer who’s paying at the pump.
What can you do?
Some methods of payment are more secure than others. Obviously, using cash is an easy way to play it safe. If you have a chip-and-pin card and pay using a chip-reader, you will not be vulnerable to these types of attacks, which target the magnetic stripe on cards. However, not all gas stations support chip-and-pin card technology, so this may not always be an option. Fortunately for Visa customers, all merchants will be required to support chip-and-pin technology by October of this year.