WASHINGTON (1/27/14)--Hacking attacks similar to the one that caused the Target data breach are on the rise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report that was sent to retailers on Feb. 17. In the report, the FBI said as many as 20 similar attacks have been attempted within the past year, and more are surely on the way, several outlets reported.
The report, entitled "Recent Cyber Intrusion Events Directed Toward Retail Firms," warned that the software used in the Target attack, known as memory-parsing malware, is easily accessible and affordable to many would-be thieves. According to an August Visa document released to retailers, this software can be installed after hackers have broken into a merchant's network. The software is installed on point-of-service payment systems or a back-room server, and records account transaction data as purchases are made.
Many of the reported malware attacks cited in the FBI report occurred at small- and mid-sized businesses that lack robust security infrastructure. These cases reportedly resulted in losses ranging from thousands to millions of dollars.
The Target breach resulted in the theft of 40 million debit and credit cards, and encrypted PIN data, and the names, mail and email addresses, and phone numbers of up to 70 million individuals. Credit unions have already incurred costs estimated to be in the range of $25 million to $30 million as a result, according to the results of a Credit Union National Association survey. This projected total could be exceeded in the coming weeks if greater fraud losses are incurred or those that have responded to the CUNA survey already add additional costs to their reported totals.
CUNA continues to ask credit unions affected by the Target data breach to outline the costs and burdens they have seen as a result. The data will help inform CUNA conversations with lawmakers, regulators, the media and others. There is no deadline for credit unions to respond to the survey, and credit unions that have not yet responded are encouraged to do so. Credit unions that have responded can also update their totals if new costs are incurred.
For the survey, use the resource link.