Pe@rson
Topic Author
Posts: 16001
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

Purchasing Things Online & Credit/debt Cards

Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:59 pm

Here's an odd, but genuine, question for you: if I were to use a debt or credit card to purchase something over the 'net, is it possible for someone from the firm or otherwise to know the location of the computer from which the purchase was made?

Do credit or debt card numbers indicate the type of card (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, Mestro, etc.)? Perhaps the first four numbers are the same for a particular type of card or something.

Don't worry: I'm just curious.

Cheers.

[Edited 2005-11-13 16:02:34]
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AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Purchasing Things Online & Credit/debt Cards

Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:35 am

Quoting Pe@rson (Thread starter):
is it possible for someone from the firm or otherwise to know the location of the computer from which the purchase was made

Most, if not all, use some type of IP identifying/tracking system. How detailed each point of sale uses, I'd have no idea.

Quoting Pe@rson (Thread starter):
Do credit or debt card numbers indicate the type of card (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, Mestro, etc.)? Perhaps the first four numbers are the same for a particular type of card or something.

Yes. The first four digits for say a Citibank VISA would be unique to their cards, and not used for Citibank's MasterCards, or another bank's VISA cards.
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RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: Purchasing Things Online & Credit/debt Cards

Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:10 am

Quoting Pe@rson (Thread starter):
Here's an odd, but genuine, question for you: if I were to use a debt or credit card to purchase something over the 'net, is it possible for someone from the firm or otherwise to know the location of the computer from which the purchase was made?

Yes, it is entirely possible to determine the general physical location of the IP address. Each IP is part of a block which is allocated by one of 5 bodies (the two main ones being RIPE for europe and ARIN for North America) to an ISP for use. It is possible to determine where the IP is being used by looking up the IP with the appropriate registry, and from there you can contact the ISP its allocated to for information on who specifically was using the IP address at any single point in time, as they keep records of short term IP allocations to customers.

GeoIP location software can be used to lock down access to a particular global location.

Quoting Pe@rson (Thread starter):
Do credit or debt card numbers indicate the type of card (i.e. Visa, Mastercard, Mestro, etc.)? Perhaps the first four numbers are the same for a particular type of card or something.

The card number denotes:

Type of Card (VISA, Mastercard etc)
Type of Card (Credit, Charge or Debit)
Issuing Bank
Date number block was activated

Also the number contains a built in checksum which allows you to check if the number given is actually a valid and issued number. This is quite handy when doing web transactions which arent authorised straight away because it stops fraudsters from inputting random numbers, you can check to see if the number is supposeldy valid without anything other than the number itself.

Check this site out for info:
http://www.beachnet.com/~hstiles/cardtype.html

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