Feeds

Citibank ATM fraud 'just tip of iceberg' - analyst

PIN block card scam fears grow

Reducing security risks from open source software

An ongoing ATM fraud problem that forced Citibank into reissuing an unspecified number of US credit and debit cards is only part of a larger ongoing threat, a leading analyst warns. Avivah Litan, a research director at Gartner, said that Citibank is only one of a number of victims and that the banking industry is "less than halfway through this latest scam, which will continue to affect large numbers of cardholders".

Citibank said it blocked PIN-based transactions of Citi-branded MasterCard cards in the UK, Russia and Canada to protect US customer accounts. It blamed the problem on a security breach involving an unspecified US retailer. Litan, by contrast, suggests the theft of PIN data is the more likely cause of the security flap. She adds that other US banks have been forced to reissue ATM cards after customers' details were compromised.

"Gartner believes that these combined bank actions reflect the largest PIN theft to date — and point to a new wave of 'PIN block' card fraud," Litan writes. If hackers broke into retailer servers and steal PIN blocks that represent encrypted PIN data as well as terminal encryption keys (typically stored on retailers' terminal controllers), they might be able to determine a cardholder's PIN and create counterfeit cards that enable them to withdraw cash at ATM machines.

Litan reckons that this - rather than a simple retailer breach - accounts for a recent rise in ATM fraud affecting US banks. "In this particular scam, the thieves probably also stole (likely from a retailer) magnetic-stripe data found on the back of ATM cards, which large banks typically validate," she adds.

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security standard prohibits the storage of PIN blocks and covers terminal operations. Gartner advises card issuers to follow this guidance. The analyst firm also has advice for enterprises, payment vendors and regulators which can be reviewed here. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.