Target Sunset

Target Wasn’t The Only Retailer Hit By 2013′s Fraud Attack

Target Sunset

Hackers targeted more than 1,000 other businesses

Remember that crushingly-huge card fraud case that took place last December in America? You know, the one that hit Target and Neiman Marcus, and basically kick-started consumer wishes for EMV and higher card security. Well, according to the US Secret Service, it wasn’t just those two retailers hit by the crime, it was actually over 1,000 American businesses.

Reported in The New York Times, a Department of Homeland Security advisory claimed that the attacks “were much more pervasive” than first thought. Because of this, Homeland Security recommend that all businesses check for “Point of Sale malware infections.”

As initially reported, the data breach involved criminals looking for exploits in employees with remote access and then comb through PoS systems using malware to take payment card data. It was thought that the attack had only hit Target and Neiman Marcus, with the data being sold off on the black market. Since then, Homeland Security, the Secret Service, and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Centre all issued warnings for companies to check their systems for the Backoff malware programme the hackers used. Only seven companies, including UPS, came forward to say they had been affected, but more are believed to be out in the woodwork.

Homeland Security’s take on reducing fraud cases like this are by limiting the amount of people who have outside access to corporate systems, improving system security through complex passwords, the introduction of two-step verification, and more stringent customer data encryption.

This is all well and good, but perhaps having a better way to accept payments could help as well?

The likes of Zapp’s pull-based tokenisation system could avoid any information being sent across that could be deemed as sensitive. And if companies took up the likes of Bitcoin and Bitcoin terminals, then perhaps a far more secure infrastructure could be built for payments in the US.

Have something to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

[Image: Mike Mozart - Flickr]

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