FBI warns shops to watch for checkout thefts

Fake credit cards Criminals using fake credit cards, made with data stolen from Target, are already being arrested

Related Stories

The FBI has issued a warning to US shops telling them to beef up defences against cyber-thieves.

The agency included its warning in a confidential report to large retailers that was obtained by Reuters.

In particular, said the FBI, shops need to look for the type of malware used to steal millions of credit card details from shoppers at retailer Target.

The FBI said it had seen about 20 cases in the last year where data was stolen using the same type of malicious code.

That code has been inserted on to credit and debit card swiping-machines, cash registers and other point-of-sale (POS) equipment.

"We believe POS malware crime will continue to grow over the near term, despite law enforcement and security firms' actions to mitigate it," read the FBI report.

The low cost of the virus code, its wide availability on underground markets and the potential for profit if POS equipment was compromised made it very attractive to thieves, said the agency. One copy of the type of software used to grab data at tills was on sale for only $6,000 (£3,600), said the FBI report.

The report was sent out as more details emerge about the extent of the security breach at US retailing giant Target.

Reports suggest that the attackers who planted malware on Target tills were scooping up card data for 19 days during the busy Christmas season. The thieves are believed to have got away with complete details for 40 million cards and stolen personal data on about 70 million customers.

The attack is believed to have been one of the biggest retail cyber-attacks in history.

Recent arrests suggest the data stolen from Target is already being used to create counterfeit cards. In mid-January two people were arrested at the Texas-Mexico border with 96 fake cards later identified as being from the huge cache stolen from Target.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate


BBC Future

(Harold Edgerton Archive, MIT)

The man who froze the world

The father of high-speed photography Read more...

Programmes

  • A cargo shipThe Travel Show Watch

    It is not cheap or glamorous - so why are people choosing to travel by cargo ship?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.