It’s been widely reported that a hacker, Albert Gonzalez, recently gained access to millions of credit and debit card numbers. The hacker has now been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. According to the indictment, Gonzalez, 28, gained a foothold into the systems of credit card processors such as Heartland Payment Systems and retailers like OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble and TJX Cos. He used an amateur hacking technique called “wardriving,” which I am told uses wireless access points to find vulnerable networks from which to launch attacks.
Once connected to those private networks, Gonzalez used a well-known technique called “SQL injection” to trick Web applications into turning over private information that gave him deeper access into networks. Even though it sounds complicated, I understand from our computer experts that it’s very easy.
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