Attacks/Breaches
10/25/2012
01:11 PM
50%
50%

Barnes & Noble Probes PIN Keypad Hack

Criminals hacked one PIN keypad in each of 63 stores and have already used the stolen data to commit fraud. Was it an inside job?

11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
11 Security Sights Seen Only At Black Hat
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Barnes & Noble Wednesday confirmed that point-of-sale systems in 63 of its stores had been physically hacked as part of what it described as "a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit and debit card information from our customers who have swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made purchases at certain retail stores."

That information was disclosed to customers Wednesday via a data breach notification, as well as a related press release, both of which were distributed via the website of the California Attorney General.

According to Barnes & Noble, the hacked PIN pads--only one of which was hacked in each of the stores--were capable of "capable of capturing information such as name, card account number, and PIN," but only for in-person purchases in which a card was swiped. The company said that its online customer database hadn't been breached. Still, stolen information from the hacked PIN pads has reportedly already been used by fraudsters.

[ Read Many Identity Theft Protection Services Promise The Impossible. ]

Barnes & Noble said that it detected the PIN pad tampering "during maintenance and inspection of the devices," and said it immediately discontinued the use of all PIN pads across its nearly 700 U.S. stores, disconnected and sent them to an offsite location for inspection, and informed federal authorities, who are now investigating the tampering. Barnes & Noble has now completed physical inspections of every PIN pad for tampering, but hasn't returned them to stores, owing to ongoing concerns over tampering and data theft.

"The PIN pads were removed from stores on September 14, and the transactions are being made now through the register," said Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating via phone. She declined to comment on whether the bookseller might resume using PIN pads at a future date.

A senior Barnes & Noble official told The New York Times, which first reported the story of the data breach Wednesday, that the company did inform credit card companies about the data breach. But the Barnes & Noble didn't immediately disclose the breach to its customers. The company official said that the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said the bookseller didn't need to alert customers to the PIN pad fraud until Dec. 24, 2012, so as to not interfere with related investigations.

The list of affected stores includes locations in nine states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

In its Wednesday data breach notification to customers, Barnes & Noble said that "as a precaution, customers and employees who have swiped their cards at any of the Barnes & Noble stores with affected PIN pads" should immediately contact their bank to change the PIN number for their debit card, if one was used. The bookseller also recommended that both credit and debit card users review their account statements for unauthorized charges, and notify their banks if any were found. But it didn't detail--or perhaps simply doesn't yet know--when its PIN terminals were first hacked.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
PJS880
50%
50%
PJS880,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2012 | 5:27:39 PM
re: Barnes & Noble Probes PIN Keypad Hack
If this was an inside job the Barnes and Nobel has way overqualified sales people working the registers. GÇŁA sophisticated criminal effort does not sound like it could be committed by the sales clerk who just directed me to the travel section. Not at all putting down sales clerks but if you have the ability to carry out a sophisticated criminal attack then they are probably in the wrong field. 63 stores that were effected is quite a feat considering the security on these pos terminals, which leaves the obvious, an inside job.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7421
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a module name in the salg_name field, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-9644.

CVE-2014-8160
Published: 2015-03-02
net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_proto_generic.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18 generates incorrect conntrack entries during handling of certain iptables rule sets for the SCTP, DCCP, GRE, and UDP-Lite protocols, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via packets with disall...

CVE-2014-9644
Published: 2015-03-02
The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a parenthesized module template expression in the salg_name field, as demonstrated by the vfat(aes) expression, a different vulnerability than CVE-201...

CVE-2015-0239
Published: 2015-03-02
The em_sysenter function in arch/x86/kvm/emulate.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5, when the guest OS lacks SYSENTER MSR initialization, allows guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges or cause a denial of service (guest OS crash) by triggering use of a 16-bit code segment for emulation of a SYS...

CVE-2014-8921
Published: 2015-03-01
The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.