News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
You are here: Home / Network Security / Target Breach: An Inside Job?
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Target Breach: An Inside Job?
Target Breach: An Inside Job?
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JANUARY
17
2014


There are still more questions than answers about the Target data breach, but new insights are emerging that shine a light on the point-of-sale (POS) attack. According to Seculert, Dexter, a custom-made malware that’s been springing up over the last few months to infect POS systems, isn’t the culprit in the breach, which affected at least 70 million customers.

“First, the malware that infected Target’s checkout counters (POS) extracted credit numbers and sensitive personal details,” Seculert’s Aviv Raff wrote in a blog post. “Then, after staying undetected for six days, the malware started transmitting the stolen data to an external FTP server, using another infected machine within the Target network."

With Dexter, on the other hand, malware injected into files hosted on Windows servers scrapes credit card numbers as they’re entered through the POS system.

According to Seculert, the malware in the Target breach began transmitting payloads of stolen data to a FTP server of what appears to be a hijacked Web site on Dec. 2. These transmissions occurred several times a day over a two-week period. The cybercriminals behind the attack used a virtual private server located in Russia to download the stolen data from the FTP, the firm reports.

“They continued to download the data over two weeks for a total of 11 GBS of stolen sensitive customer information,” Raff said. “While none of this data remains on the FTP server today, analysis of publicly available access logs indicates that Target was the only retailer affected. So far there is no indication of any relationship to the Neiman Marcus attack.”

A Key Lesson Learned

We caught up with Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer at TripWire, to get his views on the latest revelations surrounding the Target breach. He told us identifying the malware used and how data was exfiltrated in the Target attack is helpful but one of the key questions in this breach is how every point of sale device in every Target store in the U.S. was compromised.

“This fact seems to indicate that the compromise came from deep inside Target’s network and implies that the attackers had detailed knowledge of Target’s infrastructure, as well as their patching and software deployment practices,” Melancon said. “This knowledge would allow them to craft an attack designed to take advantage of specific blind spots in Target's security infrastructure.”

As he sees it, this kind of insider knowledge could have come from someone currently at Target or, perhaps more likely, from a past employee or a trusted business partner. Predictability is, in itself, vulnerability, he said, so if attackers know what you're going to do before you do it, it is easy to craft an attack that takes advantage of your habits. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN NETWORK SECURITY
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.