Feeds

Citibank ATM fraud 'just tip of iceberg' - analyst

PIN block card scam fears grow

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.