Feeds

Citibank ATM fraud 'just tip of iceberg' - analyst

PIN block card scam fears grow

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?