Amazon Credit Card security??

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by webmaster@aquinasandmore.com, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Guest

    This is from Amazon's credit card security page: "To provide you with
    an additional layer of security, all credit card numbers provided to
    Amazon.com are stored on a computer that is not connected to the
    Internet. After you type or call it in, your complete credit card
    number is transferred to this secure machine across a proprietary
    one-way interface. This computer is not accessible by network or modem,
    and the number is not stored anywhere else."

    Now, I'm wondering how this can possibly be since

    1) Amazon does keep credit cards on file and charges them.
    2) Amazon displays part of your credit card number when you are a
    returning customer during the checkout process.

    If it is a one way connection to this server which isn't connected to
    the Internet or to a modem, how can they possibly ever charge credit
    cards?
    , Aug 24, 2006
    #1
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  2. Nomen Nescio Guest

    wrote:

    > This is from Amazon's credit card security page: "To provide you with
    > an additional layer of security, all credit card numbers provided to
    > Amazon.com are stored on a computer that is not connected to the
    > Internet. After you type or call it in, your complete credit card
    > number is transferred to this secure machine across a proprietary
    > one-way interface. This computer is not accessible by network or modem,
    > and the number is not stored anywhere else."
    >
    > Now, I'm wondering how this can possibly be since


    Ok, I'm not defending Amazon or claiming they're ultra-secure or
    anything, but...

    > 1) Amazon does keep credit cards on file and charges them.


    They never claimed otherwise.

    > 2) Amazon displays part of your credit card number when you are a
    > returning customer during the checkout process.


    So does Orbitz and a lot of others. Don't forget there's more than one
    way to store information. It would even be possible to store those 4
    digits on your computer in the form of a cookie, although this is not
    how it's done because many people delete them. More likely is a
    database containing those 4 numbers that's completely separate from the
    "main" credit card info. Those 4 digits are used to determine which
    account to charge (you can enter more than one credit card number at
    Amazon), and the publicly accessible machine simply tells the
    non-public machine to do a transaction for Joe Blow using card #1234
    rather than card number #4321.

    > If it is a one way connection to this server which isn't connected to
    > the Internet or to a modem, how can they possibly ever charge credit
    > cards?


    I can think of a number of ways, the most likely being that the machine
    holding the credit card info does the transaction via it's own
    proprietary connection to the "bank" and then simply returns a yes or no
    answer, or that the machine holding the credit card info compares a
    hash of the CC number to one generated when it's entered, and then the
    transaction is processed by a clearing house or other third party who
    also holds a copy of the credit card number on queue from Amazon that
    the hashes match. All conducted via non-public connectioins

    Actually I could probably come up with a few more ideas on this, but
    the general theme would be Amazon's "interface" being hardware
    restricted to only transferring very specific information. Most
    likely just a True/False indication of whether the transaction is
    approved.
    Nomen Nescio, Aug 24, 2006
    #2
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