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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

FBI issues warning to retailers of credit card malware

Wednesday 3 June 2015 | 10:56 AM CET

FBI has issued a warning that criminal hackers are using new malicious software to steal personal financial data.

Bureau cyber investigators have identified software signatures used in a new point-of-sale malware dubbed ‘Punkey’.

Security technicians are being urged to identify victims of Punkey hacks, and to remove the hacking software from within secure payment networks. Several high-profile hacks have used PoS malware in recent years, including those against the retailers Target and Home Depot.

The malware works by scanning uncoded plaintext credit card data that is found in the random access memory of payment processing computers, card readers, and terminals that are used to make purchases, by sliding credit cards through a reader during payment transactions.

The stolen data is then posted for sale to others online in dark net forums used by criminals and other hackers.

Punkey also has capabilities that allow the malware to download additional malware tools into infected systems. Some 75 point-of-sale terminals were found to be infected by Punkey software, according to security researchers.

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