Menu
Retailers urged to defend against 'Backoff' point-of-sale malware

Retailers urged to defend against 'Backoff' point-of-sale malware

The PCI Security Standards Council says the Backoff malware is 'a very real threat'

A payment card industry security consortium warned retailers on Wednesday of the urgency to secure their systems against "Backoff," a malicious software program that steals card numbers.

Backoff "represents a very real threat to the security of cardholder data in all organizations," wrote the PCI Security Standards Council, an organization founded by MasterCard, Visa, American Express and other card companies.

The U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security warned last week that 1,000 U.S. businesses may be infected by Backoff, which wasn't detected by most antivirus security software until earlier this month.

The retail industry has been shaken by attackers who have successfully installed malware on point-of-sale devices that process card payments, including Target, Neiman Marcus, White Lodging, Michaels and UPS store.

Card breaches have been reported by Supervalu and P.F. Chang's China Bistro, while several other companies have ongoing investigations into suspected breaches.

Card companies require companies to be compliant with the extensive security requirements issued by PCI-DSS or face liability for fraudulent purchases. But despite passing PCI audits, many companies have been hacked nonetheless, with attackers still finding network weaknesses.

The PCI Council recommended that companies check with their antivirus vendor to make sure their product detects Backoff and run a scan immediately. The organization also advised to "review all system logs for any strange or unexplained activity, especially large data files being sent to unknown locations."

Retailers should also refresh their passwords and change default ones, a long recommended security practice but one which still catches companies off guard.

Other recommendations made by the PCI Council may not be so easy or cheap. It recommended that merchants use card processing devices that encrypt data immediately after it is captured.

Several types of malware found on point-of-sale devices are so-called memory "scrapers," which capture the card data while it is held unencrypted in memory. The weakness is prevalent in retail POS devices on networks that pass PCI-DSS audits.

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


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitymalwaredata protectiondata breachintrusionPCI Security Standards Council

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments