POS Systems in Terrible State of Security
- By Ginger Hill
- Aug 22, 2014
Most of us are all too familiar with the Target hack that cost this retail store and its partners more than $200 million. But, do you realize that this may have caused even more damage than was thought?
Based on a new assessment from the Secret Service, the same malware used in the Target attack also targeted more than a thousand other U.S. businesses. This malware is known as “Backoff,” and it gives hackers the ability to monitor all information passing through point-of-sale (POS) computers.
Although it’s unclear as to the number of hackers responsible for the more than 1,000 attacks, the Secret Service does allude to the terrible state of security most POS computers are in, recognizing that hackers usually gain access through remote access software that allows employees to work from home. Also, embedded devices, like credit card machines, are hardly ever patched or audited.
The Secret Service recommends the following remedies for all POS systems and businesses:
- Two-factor authentication for all employees; and
- Active security programs to monitor networks for unusual data transmissions.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.