This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

FBI: More Credit Card Breaches to Come

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The FBI is warning retailers that future cyber attacks like the ones that recently hit Target (TGT - Get Report) and Neiman Marcus are a definite possibility in the future.

According to Reuters, the FBI has discovered at least 20 data hacking cases in the past year which used the same kind of software that was used against Target during the holiday shopping season,

Last week, the FBI reportedly sent retailers a three-page report outlining the problem. The confidential memo outlined what it termed ""memory-parsing malware," which infects the point-of-sale (POS) machines typically found at store checkout registers.

The Jan. 17 document -- "Recent Cyber Intrusion Events Directed Toward Retail Firms" -- was seen by Reuters and later confirmed by an FBI spokesperson.

It warned: "We believe POS malware crime will continue to grow over the near term, despite law enforcement and security firms' actions to mitigate it. The accessibility of the malware on underground forums, the affordability of the software and the huge potential profits to be made from retail POS systems in the United States make this type of financially motivated cyber crime attractive to a wide range of actors."

Target was the victim of a 19-day data attack which reportedly made the records from 40 million credit and debit card transactions available to hackers during the 2013 holiday shopping season. Target shares were down 0.49% to $58.36 in early New York trading on Friday.

Neiman Marcus said it was also cyber attacked last year. Sources told Reuters that credit card data from more than 1.1 million customer transactions was exposed by hackers between July 16, 2013, and Oct. 30, 2013. According to a recent statement by CEO Karen Katz,  Visa (V), MasterCard (MA) and Discover Financial Services  (DFS) report 2,400 payment cards that had been "swiped" at Neiman Marcus PIS terminals have also been used fraudulently.

Memory-parsing software is also known as "RAM scraper" technology. The malware copies the information from the magnetic stripe when the customer swipes it at a POS terminal. Even though that information is encrypted, RAM scrapers can grab it during the brief time the information spends in the retailers' computer memory.

RAM scraper technology has reportedly been available for years but its use has increased as software writers have made it more difficult to detect.

The FBI report said one variant of the malware allows for remote upgrades designed to thwart detection by corporate security teams while another hacker is selling a RAM scraper program for "as much as $6,000" via underground Internet forums.

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
TGT $79.50 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs