Cyber-Thieves Rush to Steal Data Before Chip Technology Sets In

by Sarah Grotta 0

We heard earlier this week some positive news from Visa about a decrease in fraud losses that their top merchants with EMV installed are enjoying. More on that here. Today an article in Bloomberg puts a damper on the good news, referencing a report detailing that thieves are ramping up their activities to steal card credentials through malware, before it becomes more difficult once EMV is more fully implemented:

Cyber-thieves see new credit card chip technology being adopted by U.S. retailers closing a lucrative window of opportunity to steal your data. So they want to move fast.

We’ve actually seen a number of discussions, in some cybercrime communities, where they’re reacting to that and saying, ‘OK, we have a limited number of opportunities to continue these attacks and we need to take the maximum advantage,”’ said John Miller, director of ThreatScape Cyber Crime at iSIGHT Partners, which was acquired by FireEye Inc. in January.

With some of the malware that has been studied by FireEye, the fraudsters are capturing login details along with card information. This allows for thieves to steal through online transactions which are unprotected by EMV:

FireEye, which provides malware and network-threat protection systems, tracked a cybercrime group it calls “FIN6.” The group steals credit card numbers from the retail and hospitality industries and delivers the digits to an online “underground card shop.” The report found cases spanning from 2014 through this year.

Malware such as GRABNEW, which captures login credentials, can come as an e-mail attachment, FireEye said. FIN6 either sends that malware or pays others for the credentials.

Once FIN6 gets into a company’s network, it uses software vulnerabilities to move around and locate card numbers. One FIN6-linked case resulted in 20 million cards, mostly from the U.S., in the online shop, selling for about $21 each, Milpitas, California-based FireEye said.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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