Black Hat talk will show that security and backwards compatibility are at odds in popular authentication technology.
Vulnerabilities in the increasingly popular chip-and-PIN authentication technology used in credit cards could make it easy for attackers to steal data at the point of sale, a researcher said.
At the Black Hat USA conference, a UBM TechWeb event, in Las Vegas this week, Andrea Barisani, chief security engineer for secure design consultancy Inverse Path, will join with colleagues to show how flaws in chip-and-PIN--which is becoming a standard in Europe and Asia--can be easily exploited.
Chip-and-PIN systems are designed to support legacy transactions--including the transmission of the card's password or PIN in plain text, Barisani observed. As a result, it can be a trivial matter for an attacker to install a skimmer on a point-of-sale terminal and steal the credit card data.
Barisani says these flaws can be found in current and emerging credit card systems, including the EuroPay-Mastercard-Visa (EMV) system that is being implemented worldwide. While EMV supports three types of cards--older magnetic stripe cards, current chip cards, and more secure chip cards--skimmers can force transactions to use the least secure transaction method, he warned.
"EMV is broken," Barisani said. "In order to fix the problem, they will have to change the standard and break compatibility with older cards."
EMV currently supports three different standards: static data authentication, an upgrade from older magstripe cards; dynamic data authentication, a more secure implementation that uses an encryption key to scramble transaction information; and combined data authentication, which implements more stringent security measures.
Attackers who can attach a skimming device to the point-of-sale (POS) terminal can control the security negotiation between the terminal and the consumer's credit card, Barisani explained. In order to support the older POS technologies, credit and debit cards will transmit a user's PIN in the clear if required by the terminal. A skimmer attacked to the device can then scoop up the details of the credit card.
Tampering with point-of-sale terminals has been a popular exploit among cybercriminals for years. In May, craft-supply chain Michaels notified customers that their credit- and debit-account details may have been leaked after finding more than 70 compromised POS terminals in its stores nationwide.
The chip-and-PIN flaws could be problematic for banks, which previously blamed users when a PIN was stolen or misused, clearing themselves of liability for the theft. But if the new vulnerabilities are exploited, the source of the PIN theft--and the liability for the loss--could be in question.
The vendors, contractors, and other outside parties with which you do business can create a serious security risk. Here's how to keep this threat in check. Also in the new, all-digital issue of Dark Reading: Why focusing solely on your own company's security ignores the bigger picture. Download it now. (Free registration required.)
Published: 2015-07-06 Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the template preview function in Foreman before 1.6.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted provisioning template.
Published: 2015-07-06 The Hospira LifeCare PCA Infusion System before 7.0 does not validate network traffic associated with sending a (1) drug library, (2) software update, or (3) configuration change, which allows remote attackers to modify settings or medication data via packets on the (a) TELNET, (b) HTTP, (c) HTTPS, ...
Published: 2015-07-06 Open redirect vulnerability in the Language Switcher Dropdown module 7.x-1.x before 7.x-1.4 for Drupal allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in a block.
Published: 2015-07-06 Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the Tournament module 7.x-1.x before 7.x-1.2 for Drupal allow remote authenticated users with certain permissions to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an (1) account username, a (2) node title, or a (3) team entity title.
Published: 2015-07-06 Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Node Field module 7.x-2.x before 7.x-2.45 for Drupal allows remote authenticated users with certain permissions to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors involving internal fields.