Share This Page

Credit-card-stealing virus 'Backoff' virtually undetectable, Homeland Security warns

| Thursday, July 31, 2014, 8:48 p.m.

The Department of Homeland Security warned retailers about a type of malicious software attacking point-of-sales systems, dubbed “Backoff,” that it said is undetectable by most types of anti-virus software.

The agency released a 10-page advisory about the payment-card-stealing virus on Thursday, saying it has been observed in at least three forensic investigations into breaches of payment systems.

The government has released reports on several types of malicious software that cybercriminals used to steal payment cards after last year's unprecedented breach on Target Corp, which resulted in the theft of about 40 million payment card numbers.

Backoff is a family of point-of-sale malware identified in October and with capabilities that include scraping memory for track data, logging keystrokes and injecting malicious stub into explorer.exe files, DHS said.

It said attackers use publicly available tools to find businesses that use remote desktop applications, then gain access to an administrative account to insert the malware.

The DHS advisory warned that such malware puts the business and consumer at risk, exposing data including names, credit card numbers, email addresses, mailing address and phone numbers.

“These breaches can impact a business' brand and reputation, while consumers' information can be used to make fraudulent purchases or risk compromise of bank accounts,” it said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.