A retail magazine by NetWorld Alliance reports that research from global payment security consultancy Trustwave is showing some surprising results about the most common methods and targets of recent breach incidents by hackers.
Trustwave’s data was presented at the 2008 MICROS Users Conference this week in Maryland.
Mark Shelhart, manager of operations engineering for Trustwave, said his company has collected hard data from 400 recent cardholder-data compromises, and analyzed them to find the latest attack trends and techniques.
Among Trustwave’s findings, as reported by the NetWorld publication:
About 63% of the time, a third party is to blame for holes in the system – a POS developer, an integrator or a local IT firm.
Shelhart said many local IT integrators will use the same passwords for all of their clients that run a particular piece of software.
"So the attacker knows, ‘If I can get into one of them, I can get into all of them,’" he said. "It’s a cookie-cutter approach."
One of the requirements of the PCI data standard is that merchants must not improperly store detailed card data — "track data," the magnetically encoded information that could be used to make any number of duplicate cards if it fell in the wrong hands.
About 95% of brick-and-mortar merchants surveyed are running non-compliant software and are storing track data, according to the study’s findings, as reported by the NetWorld publication.
The study listed the top 10 methods of card data compromise: