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Commentary – FBI Issues Cyber Attack Warning To Retailers: Is Chip And PIN The Answer?

Eric A. Packel: “Point-of-sale (POS) systems are under attack.  In the wake of breaches at Neiman Marcus, Target and other stores over the 2013 holiday season, the FBI is now warning retailers to expect similar cyber attacks in the coming months.  The warning came in the form of a 3 page report distributed to numerous retailers on January 17th, detailing the current risks with POS systems. According to reports on the FBI’s warning (which was not made public), the FBI is convinced that POS malware attacks will continue to grow in the near term, even with more vigilance by law enforcement, retailers and information security companies.  This growing threat is due to the easy availability and affordability of POS malware offered for sale on Internet black markets. While the warning could be seen as simply a statement of the obvious – after all, aren’t all large retailers a prime target for hackers? — the warning is also based on new statistical data.  The FBI informed retailers that it uncovered about twenty POS cyber intrusions over the last year, all of which used similar methods.”

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