Category Archives: Data Breach

‘Backoff’ Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores

‘Backoff’ Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores

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‘Backoff’ Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security reported that around 600 businesses fell prey to a Point of Sale malware, called “Backoff”, that steals customer payment details through remote access applications. Most of the businesses affected were small, independent brick-and-mortar retailers, but some larger chains were impacted as well. The scope of the attacks could widen as more affected businesses are discovered.

Unfortunately, this kind of criminal activity is growing. Identity theft, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, affected 16.6 million people in 2012. Hackers often sell credit card data in underground markets. The data can be used to create fake credit cards, or to make online purchases, which can be quickly sold for a profit.

While Norton can help protect your credit card information while it’s on your computer, once you hand it over to a merchant, you are relying on their IT security measures to protect your data.

‘Backoff’ Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores
‘Backoff’ Malware Steals Customer Credit Cards From 600 Stores

Monitor Credit Cards To Keep Fraud At Bay

It’s hard to carry cash everywhere we go for all of our purchases. When using credit cards, it is vital to keep a watchful eye on your credit card activity. Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Sign up for online access to your credit card account via the credit card company’s website, or download their app.
  2. Keep track of your transactions online, and be sure to verify your purchases.
  3. Report any suspicious transactions to your credit card company immediately. If you discover a fraudulent charge, in most cases, the charge can be reversed, and your account will be frozen to prevent any further fraudulent activity.

Staying on top of your bills is important, but, luckily, it’s easier than ever. Many credit card companies now let you set up custom alerts to notify you of specific activity on your account, and many companies vigilantly monitor customer accounts for unusual activity. Being vigilant can help stop fraud on your account and keep your funds protected—at least until the next sale.

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Data Breach – The Best Defense is Vigilance

Data breach is one of the main problem in thief-ting data online.

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Data Breach – The Best Defense is Vigilance

There have been several high-profile data breaches impacting millions of consumers in the past year. And along with the details come the constant reminder to be vigilant. Data breach is one of the main problem in thief-ting data online. Consumer security expert Gerry Egan says awareness is key, but so is understanding what the thieves are after, so you can make it harder for them to win.

Egan answers some commonly asked questions about shopping and credit card safety:

So what is being stolen and how is it being used?

In point of sale (POS) breaches, thieves are stealing your 16-digit credit card numbers. Those numbers are most useful to thieves (and most harmful to you) in the geographical area near where you live. They can take those numbers, attach them to magnetic strips on different cards, and use them in brick & mortar stores. As long as those stores are located in zip codes where you usually shop, the transaction won’t raise any red flags.

It’s more difficult for stolen credit card information to be used online, because most retailers have authentication procedures that require expiration dates, billing zip codes and card verification values (cvv). Still, fraudulent online purchases are possible. So keep tabs on your monthly card statements, because the threats are still out there.

If my credit card information is stolen, is my identity next?

Identity thieves need your date of birth, social security number and other information before they can launch significant fraud. That’s not information typically shared during a POS transaction. The missing pieces of your identity won’t be there to go on a rampage under your name.

What can I do to stay safe?

Stay alert. The law is on your side, so use your protection. Anti-fraud laws protect you from being responsible for purchases you didn’t make. Ultimately, credit card companies want your business, so they will also work with you to track fraudulent purchases. All you have to do is stay alert. Check your credit card statement every month. It’s common for thieves to hold on to stolen credit card numbers. That means it could be months before they actually make a purchase. Reporting strange or fraudulent activity as soon as you notice it helps banks help you get your money back.

Should I just use my debit card?

You can use any payment method you want. The risk adjusts accordingly. Obviously carrying large amounts of cash comes with one set of risks. The same can be said for debit cards. The numbers attached to the magnetic strip on your debit card work the same as those attached to your credit cards. If those numbers are stolen, thieves can make the same fraudulent purchases. The only difference is that the money will come from your personal checking or savings account. That’s money you won’t be able to use for rent, mortgage, tuition or other bill payments.

Remember

Credit card data breaches are viruses that attack the POS terminals in stores. While stores do encrypt and transfer that data, there remain small opportunities for thieves to get your information. Businesses and credit card companies are constantly working to mitigate these risks, but change takes time.

“Be aware,” says Egan. “Live your life, but be aware. If you see something unusual call your bank.”

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