Feeds

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

Retail is RIDDLED with malware and bots - survey

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View
Tony Blair's digs now a Tone-y Blur
German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags
Sour Krauts arrest second local in domestic spy ring probe
Snowden leaks latest: NSA, FBI g-men spied on Muslim-American chiefs
US Navy veteran? Lawmaker? Academic? You're all POTENTIAL TERRORISTS
LibreSSL crypto library leaps from OpenBSD to Linux, OS X, more
First cross-platform version of cleaned-up OpenSSL fork
UK's emergency data slurp: IT giants panicked over 'legal uncertainty'
PM says rushed-through DRIP law will 'plug holes' in existing legislation
Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap
Seleznev Jnr is 'prolific trafficker in stolen credit card data', it is alleged
Teensy card skimmers found in gullets of ATMs
Hi-tech fraudsters treading more softly, but gas still yielding bang for buck
Weaponised Flash flaw can pinch just about anything from anywhere
This is a 'patch now or regret it sooner-rather-than-later' mess for you and webmasters
Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers
But EFF lawyer says deep-web team 'no more liable' than web server makers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization
Virtualization continues to be one of the most effective ways to consolidate, reduce cost, and make data centers more efficient.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.