As if it’s not horrible enough that Target, Neiman Marcus, and a number of other top American retailers have been hit hard by hackers in these past few months, Coca-Cola recently announced that they have suffered a security breach as well. The Coca-Cola security breach compromised 18,000 social security numbers. It’s estimated that nearly all 74,000 Coca-Cola employees were affected. Read more
I saw an incredibly depressing tweet yesterday. A man quoted his eighty year old grandma saying, “I’ll sure be happy when it’s my time to die. The world is falling apart with all of this hacking and credit cards being stolen.” Seriously, America does seem to be in a sad place, so I hate to announce that even more stores have suffered POS system security issues this week. Apparently, the hot thing right now is to plant malware into the point-of-sale terminals and steal credit card information as customers swiper their cards. Michaels, the favorite store of scrapbookers, artists, and crafty people in general, announced on Saturday that they are looking into a security breach. They have not announced whether or not there was a security breach but they believe that there is the possibility of one that might have affected customer’s credit card data. For Full Article: Michaels Stores Is Investigating Data Breach
The nations 3rd largest retailer was hit hard by hackers. Target first announced that the data of 40 million customers was stolen but in recent releases we’ve come to understand that the private information of 70 million was also taken AND to make matters worse Neiman Marcus has stepped forward and admitted that they were hacked as well.
Target’s security breach seems to grow by the minute. First, it was 40 million credit cards and debit cards. Then, they found that data of over 100 million customers was compromised. Now, they’ve discovered that other large retailers such as Neiman Marcus were hit. Target’s sales have dramatically dropped and customers are swearing to pay in cash from now on. Everyone wants answers: Merchants want to know what to do to prevent the same thing from happening to them and customers want to know how to shop safely and securely in the future.
Experts agree that things are going to get worse before they get better for merchants. Some claim that point-of-sale terminal hacking is at epidemic proportions.
The massive Target breach that took place over the holiday shopping season was apparently much larger than the corporation initially thought. The U.S. company issued a statement last Friday that said hackers also made off with the personal information of at least 70 million customers, including names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. Previously, they believed hackers had stole data from 40 million credit and debit cards. They think that the two sets of numbers are likely to overlap but experts are unsure. This could put the number of customers affected over 100 million. Some customers who had not shopped in Target stores between November 27th and December 15th, had their information stolen from a database. Millions of angry customers have taken to social media to express frustration to the corporation for what many perceive as their lax security practices.
Trust Guard, a company that specializes in POS Scanning, says that due to their recent success with Target, hackers will doggedly increase their efforts and continue their attempts to hi-jack POS Terminals to steal client information. Trust Guard is urging merchants to increase their security with POS scans to stop hackers from getting into their systems in the first place.
PCI Compliant POS scanning is required by credit card companies. A PCI scan checks terminals for thousands of vulnerabilities by scanning both web applications and networks remotely and non-intrusively based on the IP address provided. Scans look for threats to operating systems, services and utilities used for financial or other sensitive transactions. A PCI- compliant scan is performed with an advanced scanning engine that will generate a detailed report listing any server and network vulnerabilities. Then the merchant can properly resolve the security risks, helping to protect their system from Hackers, and Malware.
“Small stores are particularly susceptible because they often lack the security that larger corporations have in place, though Target is a prime example that size doesn’t matter. This is why merchants need PCI-compliant POS Scanning. It’s so cheap and effective there is no excuse to not have it. Hackers will always work hard to find new ways to get into a system, either through a vulnerability online or through point-of-sale terminals. Cleanup is a disaster for everyone involved, it’s a lot easier to prevent a hack than to fix the aftermath of one,” said Dave Brandley, co-founder, Trust Guard.
The Target breach has resulted in a huge drop in sales for the nations 3rd largest retailer. “Unfortunately this isn’t going to be the last time. You owe it to yourself and your clients to get all of your card terminals scanned on a regular basis, starting today,” said Brandley.
The War Is On: How This Happened
There have been thieves since the dawn of humanity. Where there is an opportunity for free gain there will always be someone there to take advantage of it. Our technological advancements in the past few decades have created even more possibilities for thieves, giving way to hacking as a full-time job, and making theft anonymous and difficult to trace. It doesn’t help that thieves and maniacs seem to be far ahead of the game. The US lazily uses outdated credit cards that the rest of the world moved past years ago. Customers are becoming too comfortable with handing out their data without checking for security measures. Companies like Target and a multitude of others overlook simple security measures, like point of sale or POS scanning, that could prevent hackers from getting inside in the first place or at the very least could stop hackers before they’ve harvested 40 million credit card numbers. Let that sink in just a little: 40 MILLION. 40 Million people who were probably out Christmas shopping from November 27th to December 15th are now at risk of identity theft, losing their savings, going bankrupt, or dealing with a damaged credit score.
The Security War Is On: And Why We’re On The Losing Side
James Wester, research director of IDC Financial Insights said in an interview, ”…[it] is kind of mystifying at this point,” Wester said. “It seems like from a security standpoint, Target was doing all of the right things, and somehow this code was put on the POS system, which isn’t a normal access point for hackers.” But was Target doing all of the right things? If maleware was put into the check-out terminals to steal data, as experts believe, it could have been caught with POS security scanning. This form of scanning sweeps the check-out terminals or point-of-sale terminals for security holes and vulnerabilities. Another problem is that Americans are still using the outdated magnetic strip credit cards instead of the micro-chipped cards which are much harder to recreate and use.
Five Ways To Fight Back And Protect Your Family In The Future
1. Ask your bank to switch to more secure credit/debit cards that use a microchip instead of a magnetic strip. Check your credit card statements multiple times every month for strange chargers.
2. If you’re a merchant make sure that you are PCI Compliant and have all possible security measure in place online. If you have a traditional brick and mortar store make sure that you have POS scanning. If you’re a customer always check security measures before swiping your card at a checkout terminal or providing sensitive data online. There should be a sticker that says who scanned the site/terminal.
3. Beware of email alerts that ask you for any personal information. It doesn’t matter how real or convincing it appears. Real companies do not ask you for your credit card information. This is an identity theft scam, don’t fall for it.
4. If you shopped at Target during the security breach it would be wise to change your PIN immediately. Target announced that PIN’s were stolen too.
5. Debit cards have a liability of $50 if the suspicious behavior is reported within 2 days. After 2 days it jumps up to $500 dollars. Even if you report the problem immediately it can take weeks for the bank to investigate the issue so you could be without money until it’s resolved. Prevention is the way to go in these cases.
Bonus Tip: Use cash when possible. When it’s not possible be as cautious as possible. Remember, unchecked technology is the bees knees of thieves.
- Are You A Victim? 40 MILLION Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target This Month Are Being Sold On The Black Market (epicecommercetools.com)
- Did Target hackers steal encrypted bank PINs? (bizjournals.com)
- Websites Now Selling Credit, Debit Card Information Stolen In Target Breach (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
Over 40 Million credit cards were compromised in one of the largest credit card data thefts of all time. If you shopped in Target stores between Thanksgiving and December 15th it’s very possible that you were a victim. Data from the thefts is allegedly being sold on the black market. The secret service is investigating the security breach and Target is scrambling to save face and restore their good name. They’re investigating whether or not it was an inside job or the result of savvy thieves who planted a virus in the system. Customers are asking, “What can I do if I were a victim? How do I know if I was victimized?”
What To Do After The Target Hack?
Unfortunately prevention is much easier than cleanup, however, if you shopped at Target during the security breach you should:
1. Check your credit card statements for strange activity.
2. Cancel your credit card and get a new one.
3. Call Target for information
4. Possibly curse Target and write your disappointment on their Facebook wall as thousands of customers are currently doing.
Prevention is key:
In the future you can prevent credit card theft both online and at point of sale terminals (the checkout stand in stores) by looking for a security scanned seal either on a website or on the credit card terminal itself. Scanning checks for security holes and virus’ every single day which prevents data from being stolen in the first place. If you don’t see a seal, your data they steal!
- Target Customers Hit In Major Credit Card Security Breach (laurenceautorino.com)
- Are You A Victim? 40,000 Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target This Month Are Being Sold On The Black Market (epicecommercetools.com)
- Target Sued For Credit Card Hack (business.time.com)
Data from 40 MILLION credit cards were stolen from Target stores between November 27th and December 15th and customers are angry. Customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec.15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data included customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the magnetic strip found on the backs of cards, Target said. Customers are livid and want answers but information is coming slowly as call centers are flooded and understaffed. Frustrated customers have expressed themselves on Target’s Facebook page and some have said that they’ll never shop with Target again. Experts suggest that shoppers should be more cautious in the future and check for a PCI Security Scanning sticker on POS terminals before swiping their cards. For more: Fury And Frustration Over Target Data Breach
- Are You A Victim? 40 MILLION Credit Card Numbers Stolen From Target This Month Are Being Sold On The Black Market (epicecommercetools.com)
- Breach at Target stores infuriates customers of discounter (denverpost.com)
- Target Breach: 10 Facts (informationweek.com)
Recent news about Target‘s massive security breach has sent Christmas shoppers into a panic and it’s no wonder given the sheer magnitude of the theft. Information of 40 MILLION credit cards were stolen which makes the likelihood of being a victim incredibly high. This is the second largest credit card breach of all time. The breach was a POS security breach that happened in stores over the course of a few weeks from November 27th to December 15th. Target is being slammed by outraged customers in social media, lawsuits by victims, and questions from state Attorney Generals. Security experts are blaming the lack of POS security scanning like the one offered by Trust Guard for the security breach. For more information check out this article, Target Faces Fury And Frustration Over Target Data Breach, on the L.A. Times.
- Databases hacked, your identity jacked! (mint.com)
- Stolen Target customer data flooding black market (myfox8.com)
- Credit Cards stolen in Target’s security breach now being sold on the black market (technoblimp.com)
Many successful online businesses get to a point where they have the traffic but they are having a difficult time converting that traffic into sales. There are a number of reasons why visitors come and leave before buying something. Sometimes they simply don’t want or need your product but other times they are turned off by a slow site, bad design, or a lack of third party verification. The internet is full of scams and sub-par businesses just looking to make a quick buck. They don’t care about integrity or their customers. Everyone knows that these people exist out there. This is why many visitors are hesitant to purchase online from a store they don’t know. Having third-party-verification gives visitors confidence that your business is real, that you’re trustworthy, and that they don’t have to be afraid of sharing sensitive information with you. Totally makes sense, right? Check out this page on How To Increase Sales With Third Party Verification.
- Why should you Hire Eligibility Verification Services ? (medicalbillingoutsourcing.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive to the Trib: Verification is the elephant in the room in the Iranian nuke deal (triblive.com)
- TangoWire adds BeehiveID biometric verification to eliminate fraud (biometricupdate.com)