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Resolving Stripe Card Testing Issues

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    Curtis Warcup

Recently, I encountered a challenging issue with Stripe where card testing by bots caused disputes. This post details how I tackled the problem, implemented additional security measures, and resolved the issue.

The Unexpected Challenge

One day, a client brought to my attention an unusual activity on their Stripe account. Despite no actual orders being placed on their website, there were multiple disputes logged. As someone who was mostly unfamiliar with Stripe beyond basic integration into PHP and WordPress sites, I found this situation perplexing and concerning.

Diagnosing the Issue

Initially, diagnosing the problem was difficult. The Nginx logs did not show the IP addresses from the dispute logs hitting the server. This indicated that the card testing was happening without triggering the standard logging mechanisms. After some research, I realized that card testing bots could exploit public API keys to attempt transactions, bypassing the usual order placement workflow.

Suggested Security Measures

To combat this issue, I recommend several security measures:

Additional Required Fields

Adding additional required fields when using public keys can help ensure that any attempt to process a payment needs more specific information. This step makes it harder for bots to succeed by increasing the complexity of the required input.

IP Restriction

Restricting IP addresses that can access the payment processing API adds a layer of security that limits potential bot traffic. This measure ensures that only requests from known and trusted IP addresses can proceed.

reCAPTCHA Integration

Integrating Google reCAPTCHA is another crucial step. This tool helps distinguish between human users and bots, preventing automated scripts from making fraudulent transactions. Adding reCAPTCHA to payment forms reduces the likelihood of bots successfully testing cards.

Rotating API Keys

Regularly rotating your Stripe API keys limits the risk of compromised keys being used for malicious activities. This step also invalidates any old keys that might have been exposed, enhancing security.

Results and Reflections

Implementing these security measures can significantly reduce fraudulent activity on Stripe accounts. These steps help decrease disputes and improve transaction integrity. This experience taught me valuable lessons about the importance of proactive security measures and monitoring in payment processing.


Resolving issues with Stripe card testing can be challenging but rewarding. It highlights the need for robust security protocols and continuous monitoring in web development and payment processing. By adding additional required fields, IP restrictions, reCAPTCHA, and rotating API keys, you can effectively mitigate the issue and protect your Stripe account from further fraudulent activities.

Thank you for reading about my experience. If you have any questions or want to share your own strategies for handling similar issues, feel free to reach out!