Feeds

Argos buries unencrypted credit card data in email receipts

Laminated catalogue of errors

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Catalogue firm Argos has been criticised for an email security breach that exposed customers’ credit card details and CCV security numbers.

The exposure came to light after an Argos customer who checked his order confirmation email found that his credit card number and security code was buried in the HTML source of the message. The slip-up meant that any miscreants who intercepted email confirmation messages from Argos would be able to harvest plastic card payment details - if they spotted where the numbers were stashed.

The breach was discovered by UK Argos customer Tony Graham and first reported by PC Pro. Graham's card details were recently fraudulently misused, but this incident has not been linked to the Argos email slip-up.

It's unclear how long the exposure problem lasted, or how many Argos customers were affected.

In a statement, Argos said it had already corrected the fault and was working with privacy watchdogs at the Information Commissioner’s Office in dealing with the fallout from the breach.

Argos takes the security of its customers’ data extremely seriously, is fully aware of the requirements of the Data Protection Act and has taken remedial action in relation to this matter.

We are in contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office. We have made them aware of our approach to customer communications and will continue to work closely with them to ensure we are taking all appropriate actions.

Ed Rowley, product manager EMEA at content security firm M86 Security, said the whole incident might easily have been prevented. “It is incomprehensible that this credit card data was sent out in an unencrypted format - even if the sensitive information was not visible in the main body it should have been protected from being sent out," he said.

"A good email content filtering product could have enforced encryption or blocked this data from being sent out at all by Argos, using standard or default email security rules.

"This case highlights the need to filter both inbound and outbound email in order to guard against malware coming in but also to block sensitive information from leaking out. It’s astonishing that larger companies are not using these well established security tools and procedures." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.