Feeds

When ZOMBIES go shopping: 40m Target customer breach? That's NOTHING!

Retail is RIDDLED with malware and bots - survey

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Malware linked to fraud in the retail sector may be a bigger problem than even the recent revelation about the compromise of systems US retailer Target suggests.

Shopping giant Target and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus both announced significant data breaches during the 2013 holiday shopping season.

The Target breach at least has been narrowed down to a specific malware tool (a modified version of BlackPOS) that affected its point-of-sale systems and, according to some security experts, enterprise payment processing servers.

Target has admitted 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised over a two-week period, beginning 27 November, as a result of the breach. The numbers of cards exposed by the Neiman Marcus breach is, as yet, unconfirmed but is thought to involve a lower number of higher value cards.

Security firm Seculert reckons attackers were able to extract over 11GB of data out of the Target network through an FTP server, before using a virtual private server (VPS) located in Russia to download this stolen data.

Reuters reports that at least three other unnamed retailers may have been hit using similar techniques to those used in the Target attack.

Chip and PIN wouldn't have been enough to stop fraud in the Target case, according to a blog post by security vendor Easy Solutions.

All this is bad enough by itself, but the picture looks even worse once you consider research that suggests botnet and malware activity is endemic in the retail sector.

Analysis of 139 US retailers from November 2013 until 12 January 2014 by net security firm BitSight found 1,035 instances of unique malware infections actively communicating with attackers from inside corporate networks: 7.5 on average per company.

The Trojan Neurevt was by far the most prevalent attack observed in the retail sector during this time period. Neurevt, which exploits Windows systems, steals sensitive data (such as login details) from a compromised machine by modifying the device's settings and preventing security processes from running. Infection with Neurevt grants hackers unfettered access to compromised machines.

Kaptoxa, which is a modified version of a known hacking tool called BlackPOS, has been linked to the fraud at Target. It is but one example of malicious code coming from an expanding production line. Other hacker tools and Trojans suited to attacks involving the compromise of point-of-sale and back-office systems at retailers include Dexter and Alina. Further examples include Dacebal, a new kind of point-of-sale malware that originates from Romania, which is unusual – not least because it is written in VBScript.

Security intelligence firm interCrawler said that Dacebal brings previously unseen features to the retail attack-orientated malware, including compact command-and-control programming routines. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.