How to Secure Shopping Cart Transactions from Hackers?

Posted on Jul 13 2013 - 10:20am by Kalpesh Patel

Today, Ecommerce business is a juicy target for hackers. Hackers have stolen an estimated $1 trillion in intellectual property. A research says “every ecommerce business was attacked in the five month timing period”. 80% of companies experiences minimum one major network attack per month. Each successful attack averages 500,000 American dollars.

Secure Shopping Cart

Hackers and your Vulnerable Shopping Cart:

The invention of shopping cart software has made customer’s shopping experiences quick and easy. It has also sparked the interest of many hackers. As new technology is designed and implemented it is important to consider the protection when deciding to adopt that new technology (which might pose a hazard).

Every online customer amenity is also an attacker opportunity

Every online customer amenity is also an attacker opportunity. After all, what’s more appealing to an attacker other than the vulnerabilities of unguarded shopping cart software?

Hackers Uses following basic Techniques for Vulnerable Shopping Cart:

* SQL Injection– a technique which dumps the database contents to the hacker (exploiting security vulnerability)

* Price Manipulation– a technique where the hacker can modify the amount payable when the information flows from user’s browser to the web server.

* Cross-site Scripting– a technique where the hacker disguises an input as being authorized by the site, in which they steal sensitive information.

Every customer may not be aware of these techniques, but they do know when they feel a sense of security. Shopping carts can utilize secure socket layer (SSL) transaction during checkout to keep personal and financial information safe and secure.

SSL and your Secure Shopping Cart:

A Bit of SSL

A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) uses a cryptographic method with 2 types of keys Public Key and Private (Secret) key. It passes the data between user and server in encrypted/decrypted form to avoid hijacking the connection by third party. SSL technology can provide encryption from 56-bit to 256-bit key size.

Example of Key Sizes and the Time it takes to Crack Them

●             Key Size 56-bit = 399 Seconds

●             Key Size 128-bit = 1.02 X 1018 Years

●             Key Size 192-bit = 1.872 X 1037 Years

●             Key Size 256-bit = 3.31 X 1056 Years

SSL Certificates as a Solution

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificates can be utilized to guard against this shopping cart vulnerability. Web Application Developers don’t always use the time to factor in secure programming techniques in their design goal when businesses are demanding the new technologies to stay ahead. Shopping cart software can be a prime source for malicious activity (if unprotected by Security Certificate). There is no reason why an ecommerce business should not profit from this great technology while they also protect themselves and their customers.

Those sites that show the golden lock on the browser, or the green address bar are usually more familiar and trusted.

Shopping cart exposure areas can vary and customer awareness of safety is increasing. Where a customer might not have a trained eye to find potential hazards, they are adapting to visually confirm sites that look “safe.” Those sites that show the golden lock on the browser, or the green address bar (which identifies EV (Extended Validation) SSL Certificates), are usually more familiar and trusted.

In addition, SSL Certificates are backed by Certificate Authorities. A Certificate Authority is a trusted third party that provides confirmation of the owner of the certificate for the party relying on the certificate by issuing a digital signature. Beyond this level of assurance, there is also an association of Certificate Authorities known as the CA/B Forum which published guidelines and standards for the EV Certificates, including a prerequisite audit for compliance.

Keeping the Business’ Hands Clean

No business wants their reputation to be spoiled because of a hacking incident. That is why it is important for Web Security Groups, Developers, and IT Professionals to become strict about their security policies. There have been instances where businesses have faced legal penalties for customer privacy or trust violations. Ecommerce web security is becoming essential as customers are becoming more dependent on it and hackers are expanding and evolving.

Not only can web security professionals protect businesses and customers, but when they add an EV Certificate that features a familiar security seal or green address bar they can increase the customer’s confidence and better the customer experience. Actively protecting customers will build business, whether it’s by avoiding hazards or encouraging trust.

Applauding the SSL Certificate

Secure Socket Layer Certificates have been a key component in protecting online transactions. In every realm where information is transferred (login pages, emails, shopping carts, purchases, etc.), SSL Certificates have been preventing the theft of sensitive information. This type of Certificate should be utilized anywhere information is transferred or any applicable point of vulnerability. The conversation has already started about security seals and green address bars between customers.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Anthony Volodkin

About the Author

Kalpesh Patel is part of the expertly trained team. is one of the most inexpensive SSL Certificate Providers in the world. You can get in touch with him here .