Attacks/Breaches
10/6/2009
03:27 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Heartland, After The Hacking

The data breach at Heartland Payment Systems was a disaster for the company. But after picking up the pieces, the company is looking ahead to a more secure future.

On January 20, 2009, Heartland Payment Systems reported discovering malicious software in its payment processing system, a security breach of potentially massive magnitude given that the company's handles 100 million transactions per month for more than 250,000 businesses.

While the monetary and data loses following from the penetration of Heartland's systems -- the compromise that lasted for months -- are still being determined, the financial impact on Heartland's stock price alone was devastating.

The breach, in conjunction with the economic downturn, led to the loss of about $500 million in shareholder value, more than three-quarters of the company's market capitalization, two months after the news was announced.

And then there's the cost of more than several dozen breach-related lawsuits filed against the company this year and related expenses.

According to slides presented in August at a National Retail Federation Conference by Robert O. Carr, Heartland's founder, chairman and CEO, the breach cost the company $32 million in legal fees, fines, settlements, and forensics during just the first half of the year.

But Heartland's stock has mostly recovered and its executives have hit the road to restore confidence in the nation's fourth largest payment processor.

At a security conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, hosted by vulnerability management company Qualys, Steven Elefant, Heartland's CIO, described the breach as a disastrous event for the company and likened it to the 1982 Tylenol murders in terms of the corporate crisis response that followed.

For Elefant, who began consulting for Heartland last December and then joined the company in January, the breach made it clear that industry needs to collaborate and share information. The bad guys, he said, are already doing that.

"The bad guys wake up every day and think about how they can destroy us," he said.

To help financial companies communicate, Heartland began working with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a non-profit organization formed in 1999 in response to a Presidential Directive to share information about financial threats, to create the Payments Processing Information Sharing Council (PPISC), an information sharing group specifically for the payment processing industry.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
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

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.