A new zero day malware has been reported to be at large in the digital community. The Secret Service and the DHS reports that this new malware called “Backoff” was uncovered by the security firm Trustwave and has infected as many as 600 merchants in the United States.
Writing for Consumer Reports, Donna Tapellini reports that “Backoff allows cybercriminals to infiltrate the remote-access software often used by vendors of point-of-sale systems when problems arise with those systems. Once Backoff gets access to the remote software (often because of weak passwords), it waits for credit-card info to be entered, encrypts it, and sends the numbers to cyberthieves.”
These point-of-sale attacks are an ongoing problem with merchants who should be taking greater precautions based on the highly publicized attacks on major retailers, Target being the most notable example. There is currently no magic bullet to prevent all cyber attacks since convenience outweighs total security of information, but merchants need to give great thought as they weigh the cost of enhanced security measures against possible financial losses and consumer confidence.