Trying to directly attack banks and other financial institutions is increasingly difficult, so cybercriminals are finding new ways to cause mayhem.
A popular new method is victimizing the Starbucks mobile payment app and gift cards, as they are able to steal pre-loaded amounts off cards - and then use the auto-reload function to get to victims' debit and credit card accounts.
Hackers are always on the lookout for new vulnerabilities and loopholes that allow them to steal funds from companies and victims. "Fraud is moving away from banks into big e-commerce companies," said Avivah Litan, security analyst at Gartner, in a statement published by NBC News. "Criminals are learning how to turn rewards programs, points and prepaid cards into cash."
It's possible to visit underground hacker forums to buy and sell stolen goods, including travel points, gift card data, and other information that customers may not be aware is compromised. Meanwhile, cybersecurity experts warn that customers - especially if they link their bank account information to services - should be vigilant against these types of tactics.