Retailers warned on data-stealing malware
Yesterday retailers were warned by the US government cyber security watchdogs about malware being circulated that allows hackers to get into computer networks and steal customer data.
Retailers were told to beef up their defences by the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team, against the new malware dubbed “Backoff”.
Evidence of hackers using this tool starting on October 2013, and continuing to the present was found by the government and security experts.
The cyber attacks use the same kind of remote tools that allows people to access business networks from home or on the road. These include Microsoft’s Remote Desktop, Apple Remote Desktop, Chrome Remote Desktop and others.
A security bulletin from DHS said, “Once these applications are located, the suspects attempted to brute force the login feature of the remote desktop solution.”
“After gaining access to what was often administrator or privileged access accounts, the suspects were then able to deploy the point-of-sale (PoS) malware and subsequently exfiltrate consumer payment data.”
The post also mentioned that most anti-virus programs could not identify or block the malicious software introduced by the attackers. But once the technical details are released security firms should be able to update their programs.
The malware can allow the hackers to “scrape” data from the infected computers and even use a “keylogger” to gain access to passwords.
DHS stated that, an infection “can affect both the businesses and consumer by exposing customer data such as names, mailing addresses, credit/debit card numbers, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses to criminal elements.”
“These breaches can impact a business brand and reputation, while consumers’ information can be used to make fraudulent purchases or risk compromise of bank accounts.”
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