Menu
Target says it investigated but dismissed early signs of breach

Target says it investigated but dismissed early signs of breach

A 'small amount' of possible activity was logged prior to a warning from the US Department of Justice

Hackers infected Target's point of sale terminals

Hackers infected Target's point of sale terminals

Target said it investigated but ultimately dismissed early signs of a data breach, a decision it likely regrets after suffering one of the largest payment-card and personal-data breaches on record.

The retailer said it logs a vast number of technical events each week, and "a small amount of [the criminals'] activity was logged and surfaced to our team. That activity was evaluated and acted upon," Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"Based on their interpretation and evaluation of that activity, the team determined that it did not warrant immediate follow up," Snyder wrote. "With the benefit of hindsight, we are investigating whether, if different judgments had been made the outcome may have been different."

The breach of Target's network resulted in the loss of 40 million payment card details, plus 70 million other personal records, causing U.S. lawmakers to question whether companies are doing enough to protect personal data. Target's data was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, the busiest shopping period in the U.S.

Snyder wrote that despite investing hundreds of millions of dollars in security, "the unfortunate reality is that we experienced a data breach."

She declined to provide a timeline for the early clues, but said the retailer was notified by the U.S. Department of Justice of a possible breach on Dec. 12. Target confirmed the breach three days later.

Target's cash registers, known as point-of-sale (POS) terminals, were infected with a type of malware called a "RAM scraper." The malware recorded payment card details after a card was swiped and the unencrypted data briefly sat in a system's memory.

Security experts believe a variant of "Kaptoxa," also called "BlackPOS ," was used against Target. The malware was spotted by security companies as early as March 2013.

The style of attack, which also affected luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, was notable for finding weaknesses despite a long-running effort to implement better security around card handling with the Payment Card Industry's Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Targetintrusionsecuritydata breachNeiman Marcusmalware

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments