Report Shows Just How Innovative Target Hack Was
Virus is impervious to antivirus software, uses method 'new to eCrime'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2014 7:50 AM CST
In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – It looks like the hackers that hit Target had lots of other, well, targets. The Department of Homeland Security recently sent retailers and financial service companies a secret memo warning that the Target hit appeared to be part of a larger international campaign, the Wall Street Journal reports, an insight gleaned with the help of Dallas cybersecurity firm iSight Partners. Yesterday, iSight released its own report, saying that a virus it's calling KAPTOXA "has potentially infected a large number of retail information systems"—and noting that the "intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," particularly in terms of the "operational sophistication" of the hack. The Journal shares this feature by way of example: The virus focused on stealing data during the peak hours of 10am and 5pm; the data was housed in a Target server that the hackers later accessed.

The virus attacks point-of-sale systems in a way that is "new to eCrime," subverting traditional efforts to protect consumer data, the report warns, according to NBC. Parts of the code, which is impervious to all known antivirus software, have been online since last spring. It's partly in Russian, which US officials think may indicate a link to organized crime in the former Soviet Union. The finding follows reports of similar breaches at Neiman Marcus. That breach had gone unnoticed since July, the New York Times reports today; Neiman's system was only fully secured Sunday.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Jan 20, 2014 8:08 PM CST
Most likely written by Kapersky with the help of Snowden. He's now living on one of Kapersky's luxury suites in Moscow. Putin has promised Snowden luxury suites at any Sochi venue he desires along with VIP treatment. Snowden has yet to announce his intentions to attend except to say that he's considering Putin's offers.
TwoSheds
Jan 18, 2014 1:53 AM CST
They must have had someone on the inside as well
FarmerMichael
Jan 17, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Me, I just want one of those ROM scrappers they used before the data was encripted internally....