Attacks/Breaches
4/3/2012
12:38 PM
50%
50%

Global Payments Breach: Big Authentication Lessons

Weaknesses in knowledge-based authentication and mag-stripe are highlighted in security experts' examination of the breach that affected credit card customers.

Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In spite of a Monday morning media conference call, details about the Global Payments breach that broke late last Friday remain sparse this week, but that hasn't stopped the security community from speculating about the potential lessons we might learn from this latest mega breach. Though the conjecture covers numerous angles, the thematic elements tend to converge on authentication: both at the administrator account level where many of these breaches occur, and at the card-holder level when transactions are processed.

According to a conference call early on Monday, Paul Garcia, Global Payments CEO and chairman, reported that early forensics reports from his company show the breach affected Track 2 data from approximately 1.5 million cardholders. He also claims only a small number of Global Payments servers were affected by the breach.

Beyond these few explanations, though, the details from the call were incredibly light and Global Payments did not field media questions following the call.

"He said none of their merchant systems were compromised. Well, then what was compromised?" asked Avivah Litan, VP and distinguished analyst for Gartner Research, venting her frustrations about the lack of details from Garcia. "Why do you tell us what didn't happen? Tell us what did happen."

According to Litan, her confidential sources tell her "a Central American gang broke into the company's system by answering the application's knowledge-based authentication questions correctly." At the same time, other sources told her that over the past few days that a yet-to-be-disclosed breach at a big New York-area taxi cab company could have had connections to the Global Payments breach. She also pointed to reports from Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity.com, who first broke the story and who today mentioned that the company that hosts Global Payments website recently switched to Amazon EC2 and also that he'd been contacted by a hacker who claimed Global Payments end-to-end encryption was circumvented by an inside source.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

As businesses rely increasingly on tablets for the productivity benefits they provide, IT must address the security challenges the devices present. Find out more in our Security Pro's Guide To Tablet PCs report. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join Dark Reading community editor Marilyn Cohodas and her guest, David Shearer, (ISC)2 Chief Executive Officer, as they discuss issues that keep IT security professionals up at night, including results from the recent 2016 Black Hat Attendee Survey.