Feeds

You can play Flappy Bird on a POINT OF SALE TERMINAL

That's a VERY bad thing, folks - it means they're easily hacked

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS) devices can be easily hacked and leave banks and retailers wide open to fraud, warn infosec researchers.

Security researchers from MWR InfoSecurity, the same security firm that researched serious vulnerabilities in chip-and-PIN devices back in 2012, demonstrated at last week's SyScan security conference in Singapore how it was possible to compromise MPOS terminals with multiple attacking techniques using micro USBs, Bluetooth and a malicious programmable smart card.

Gaining control over the MPOS terminal would open the door to all manner of wrongdoing and shenanigans. For example, crybercriminals could potentially switch the device into insecure mode, capture the PIN code when entered and even enable it to accept stolen credit cards. During their demonstration, MWR InfoSecurity researchers were even able to use the device to play a simplified version of the popular game Flappy Bird.

“What we have found reveals that criminals can compromise the MPOS payment terminal and get full control over it," explained MWR InfoSecurity in a statement about its research. "This would allow an attacker to gather PIN and credit card data, and event change the software on the device so that it accepts illegitimate payments.”

“This shows that card holders paying at MPOS terminals worldwide are potentially at risk,” MWR added. “Banks and retailers should also be wary when implementing this technology as it could leave them open to serious fraud.”

MWR's cyber-ninjas discovered problems with the technology as part on an ongoing research programme into secure payment technologies. The security research firm has notified the vendors involved with detailed information about their research and advise on how the problems might be addressed.

MWR is withholding details on the vulnerabilities found as the devices concerned are currently being used at thousands of retail outlets in the UK and around the world.

A brief abstract of the SyScan talk - entitled Mission mPOSsible - provides a broad outline of the sorts of attacks that might be possible, without going into details. According to MWR:

If you saw our previous PinPadPwn research, you won't be surprised to hear we discovered a series of vulnerabilities which allow us to gain code execution on these devices through each of the available input vectors. We will discuss the weaknesses of current solutions and have live demonstrations for multiple attack vectors, our favourite being a malicious credit card which drops a remote root shell on an embedded mPOS device.

A short video demo of MWR researchers playing a simplified version of Flappy Bird on a hacked MPOS terminal can be found here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.