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TMCNet:  Hackers probably poised to swipe lots more card data [Virginian - Pilot]

[January 19, 2014]

Hackers probably poised to swipe lots more card data [Virginian - Pilot]

(Virginian - Pilot Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) By Michael Riley Bloomberg News WASHINGTON Hacking attacks like those that siphoned credit-card data from Target and Neiman Marcus are probably part of an unprecedented assault on a larger number of retailers, according to a security company working with the government.


The assaults on retailers may involve multiple groups of hackers who appear to be working from a sophisticated piece of software code that began circulating on underground websites last June, iSIGHT Partners, a Dallas-based security company that tracks cybercriminals, said in a report.

The report doesn't say whether the software, dubbed Kaptoxa, was used in the theft of as many as 40 million customer credit- and debit-card accounts from Target. A person briefed on the investigation, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential, said Kaptoxa is the same software that infected Target. Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Target, declined to comment.

"We haven't seen the last of this," said iSIGHT Chief Executive Officer John Watters in an interview. "Now it's a race to the bank with the criminals rushing to hijack the data and convert it into criminal gain before the door to profitability is closed." The iSIGHT report said the scale and sophistication of the campaign against retailers' point-of-sale systems - the terminals on which customers swipe credit and debit cards - may be the largest ever seen, escaping elaborate industry efforts to secure a system that processes more than $3.3 trillion in U.S. transactions annually.

Target, the second-largest U.S. discount chain, has said the theft of customer data may have affected anyone who provided it with basic information over the past several years.

Target hasn't disclosed details about how its point-of-sale system was breached.

Neiman Marcus said earlier this month that some unauthorized purchases may have been made with customer cards, without disclosing the scope of the breach. Credit-card processors alerted the Dallas- based luxury chain to the incursion in mid-December, and the company is working with federal authorities and investigating the matter, according to a statement.

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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