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Fraudulent Transactions and Hacking­, How do you protect your Magento site?



ImageSource: TMC Technologies

The e-commerce market is at its zenith with buyers and sellers both enjoying the benefits of using websites that allow them to do shopping from the convenience of their home. Every person today is a buyer and an active user of e-commerce in any form; while a huge percentage of them are also buyers offering products and services to customer. However, like Newton’s Third Law of Motion, e-commerce industry too suffers from the effect of a similar law. Since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every good thing too has a negative effect following it around.

Any e-commerce site or financial site uses the best platform for their website. With several ready-to-use open source e-commerce platforms available, most people prefer Magento because of its flexibility, features, usability and security. Having an e-commerce website is a responsibility and any person owning one will eventually incur some cost. Now becoming a common news, e-commerce frauds and hacking have become a pestering problem for startups and for the giants in the industry. Businesses therefore need to take action and implement measures that would make their Magento sites immune to any form of hacking or fraudulence.


Image Source: Georgetown Law

How Hacking Happens

The traditional method of targeting victims from e-commerce websites is through the use of phishing via emails and social media. However, increased awareness among users have made hackers innovate new methods to hack a site. They now malvertise (use advertising for malware transfers) legitimate websites or use sneaky methods to steal data or misdirect transactions.

Known Method 1

Sucuri, an organisation that majors in securing websites inform that the attackers collect data from Magento websites that only relates to credit cards. They inject harmful codes into the platform and get desired data. The stolen data is encrypted with the aid of a public encryption key and saved in a different image file. Any person trying to read this image file won’t be able to do so; however, the hacker can download, decrypt and use the file for monetary transaction.

Known Method 2

The researchers of Sucuri have found out another way through which hackers can steal data. In this process, an attack code is put in the Magento’s Checkout Module that collects card data when a transaction is being processed. Peter Gramantik, a senior malware researcher of Sucuri says,

” The attacker knows how the module works and the code it’s built on; all he needed to do was use the modules own variable in which all the sensitive data is stored unprotected.”

Impacts of a Hacked Website

Most website owners are not serious about hacking, unless they are a big corporation. However, irrespective of the type of business and service one provides, having additional security will aid the company in several ways. Where financial data and transactions are involved, there will be attempts of hacking. Magento and all other open source technologies are prone to it. The impacts of hacking can be adverse, here’s how:

  • When you own a website, you have a reason that has driven you to do so. While doing so you have identified a potential audience. At some point this audience will find your website. These subset of people expect a safe web experience on their visit to your site every time. They do not wish to be targeted by hackers looking for a scope to steal their entire savings. Giving your customers the same security as you would demand as a customer. An unsafe experience will only decrease customer visits and loyalty.
  • Hacks do not just cost money they also cost you more. It takes an emotional toll on you. In addition, there are the multiple hours of hassles and haggling with developers, hosting providers and security professionals to deal with before things rectify and come back online. Money is easy to account for but not all the emotions, exasperation, and fear are.
  • Brand reputation is a vital concept for enterprises. Brand reputation brings in more customers and more business. A hacked website is a notorious enemy to brand reputation. Destroying trust is proportional to destroying business.
  • In addition to all this, hacks also cost you your rankings on search engines. As a business, you lose visibility on search engines and in certain cases, blacklisted to ensure visitors have a safe experience online.

How Can You Protect Your E-commerce Site

  • Customers trusting your website take a leap of faith to trust and believe that your e-commerce site is secured. To keep this trust intact, use a secure connection for online checkout. A strong SSL authentication is necessary. To make the security even more better integrate EV SSL and use the seal to let customers know that they are safe.
  • According to PCI standards, storing customer data is strictly forbidden. Flush your database and only keep customer data that is essential while dealing with chargeback’s and refunds. When you have nothing to steal in your website, you have minimal chances of being robbed.
  • An address and card verification system is essential for an e-commerce website. Integrate an AVS system along with CVV requirement for credit card transactions to reduce cases of frauds.
  • Implement a cloud based DDOS or Distributed Denial of Service protection system. This approach will help trim operational costs and aid in preventing complex threats easily.
  • Layering up security is another approach that you can take to keep your websites at bay from hackers. Start with firewalls and add layers to the security. Perform regular checks to ensure there are no application level acts or cross-site scripting.

Extra Tips for Better Security

  • It is highly important that as a seller you always ensure that your site remains protected. If you are not doing that on a regular basis, it is good time to start now. Begin with proxy detection, as it is the best way to evaluate and detect as possible frauds or hacks.
  • Another thing to try is detecting the geo-location of the endpoint of an IP address. Use the IP information along with other details like shipping and billing for better results.
  • Hire a professional when you do not have the time and resource to maintain security checks. Hiring an expert will save you money and time. Choose a professional company with the required experience, knowledge, and certification to perform the job.
  • E-retailers can choose device intelligence to check frauds transactions during release for shipment. If the device intelligence is in place for the company, it becomes easy to identify Card Not Present transactions in real time. The system then gives these transactions attributes and data points for a score, which retailers would be able authenticate and finally mitigate fraud.


The constant rise in hacking and fraud transactions have made customers skeptical sometimes about using e-commerce websites. However, the benefits that e-commerce website offers are ample enough for them to overlook any flaws. Therefore, it is the duty of the seller to make their Magento enabled e-commerce website more secured. Irrespective of the open source platform you use or the size of your online store, hackers can affect any technology. Using the right methods before it is too late will guarantee that the business and the industry flourish for the years to come. Apply the above mentioned security checks for a better seller-buyer experience and if you know what we don’t; share it with us, we are always eager to learn!


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Fraudulent Transactions and Hacking­, How do you protect your Magento site?