Another Possible Vulnerability: Arbitrary Transactions against a Card

Using the third merchant option: a Cardholder Order, exploitation is trickier. Because the transaction information does not necessarily need to be included in a URL, it can be sent by the merchant server directly to the acquirer using an HTTP POST directive. Eve would not normally have access to the Store and Forward attack.

Even if she was able to discern the XML structure used for communication between the merchant and the acquirer, she is unable to get the merchant system to send the transaction to the acquirer on her behalf. She could open a connection to the acquirer herself, pretending to be the merchant and executing a transaction against a card. However, the response would come back to her and not the merchant in the HTTP response. The only effect would be that the acquiring system would process the transaction against her card to the merchant’s benefit but she would receive no order fulfillment.

With this knowledge, Eve has two possible exploits available: one a harassment exploit, and the other fraudulent.

In the harassment exploit, Eve acquires the card number of a victim that she does not like (perhaps an ex-spouse?) She then uses this number to charge up the card against a given merchant knowing that the cardholder will never get fulfillment of these orders. When statements are reconciled by the merchant, and/or the cardholder, the resulting chargebacks will cause a great deal of confusion.

In the fraudulent exploit, Eve uses her own card to attempt to generate a credit against it. The merchant will only discover the fraud when reconciling its deposit account statements, normally at the end of the month. Eve may have taken a cash advance against the credit balance in her account by then.