One swipe was all it took for millions of customers to have their credit and debit card accounts hacked. Target, Michaels and Neiman Marcus have all reported data breaches.
The Target data breach left more than 40 million customers victimized, making it the second largest breach in history.
Michael Wilhelm, the owner of The Net Works, said the malware used in the breach came out of Russia. This particular malware is specifically used to steal card information. It also affects Windows based cash registers.
"[The hackers] had those credit cards the day that it happened. They had those numbers in their hands," Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm said the hackers are interested in four pieces of information. Your name, card number and the CVV code. With that information, the two-part business begins. First, the card numbers are sold on websites. Wilhelm said cards can be sold for anywhere from $20 to $35, depending on the type of the card.
Once the numbers are purchased, they can use the card for whatever purpose and in whichever form they want.
Making a new card can be as simple as buying a machine. Wilhelm said card writer are sold on websites for as a little as $136.
Once this process begins, catching the criminals isn't an easy act.
Jurisdiction and proving who has behind the computer when the crime was committed are two complications local law enforcement runs into.
"A lot of times the crimes are actually committed in another jurisdiction so its very difficult for us to for example, pay to send an investigator to another city," said Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department.
"Even when we get to that city we may not have any leads that make it possible for us to track the offender," Barbee said.