Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Security analysts believe hackers slipped in undetected via HBC's POS systems. Mounir Hahad, head of Juniper Threat Labs at Juniper Networks, estimates as many as 6 million U.S. and 1 million European and Asian consumer credit card account details may have been affected. He noted that a recent similar operation targeted similar stores and stole data for about 3 million credit cards between May and December 2017. "All of these breaches seem to have utilized a point-of-sale malware that intercepts credit card transactions, records them onto a local file, encrypts them and then sends the encrypted information to its command-and-control server," he said.
Hahad emphasized two takeaways from the HBC incident: data breaches are inevitable, and hackers can escape detection for lengthy periods. He urged organizations to prioritize detection over prevention. "Most breach prevention methods have to take a quasi-instantaneous decision on allowing or blocking traffic and there is just not enough time to make a bulletproof determination," he added. "Organizations have to allocate budgets specific to detection, which utilize all network assets to detect post-infection indicators, such as command-and-control communication as well as analytics-based solutions, which are more capable of identifying low and slow types of attacks [that] spread over time."
Eric Luke, senior director, forensic investigations at Security Metrics, has seen companies employ advanced technologies without properly configuring them. "The most advanced POS systems may use chip and PIN or point-to-point encryption, but criminals are finding ways to get around them," he said. "One common vulnerability is leaving a device in debug mode, which clearly displays encrypted payment card data."
Luke recommends the following additional 10 precautions to protect against cyber threats:
HBC representatives said the company will provide updates on the ongoing data breach investigation on these websites: www.saksfifthavenue.com/security-information/notice.html , www.saksoff5th.com/security-information/notice.html , and www.lordandtaylor.com/security-information/notice.html .
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