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Attacks/Breaches

5/7/2013
12:55 PM
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Convenience Store Chain Hacked, Customer Payment Data At Risk

MAPCO Express says the FBI is investigating a breach that exposed customer financial data in its stores

Convenience store chain MAPCO says some of its customers' credit and debit card accounts may be at risk in the wake of a payment system breach experienced by the company, which operates MAPCO Express, MAPCO Mart, East Coast, Discount Food Mart, Fast Food and Fuel, Delta Express, and Favorite Markets in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia.

It's unclear from MAPCO's disclosure whether the attack came via payment card skimming devices, but the company did say it had "disabled the malware" used in the attack, which is currently under investigation by the FBI.

"Our first concern is our customers," said Tony Miller, vice president of operations at MAPCO. "We regret any inconvenience this criminal act by hackers may have caused and are enhancing our information security efforts to combat future information security threats. Through our internal investigation and collaboration with forensics security firms, we have disabled the malware that was used in this incident while establishing additional safeguards designed to prevent this from happening in the future."

MAPCO says the attack affects debit and credit-card payments made at its stores between March 19 and 25, April 14 and 15, and April 20 and 21.

The company has hired "nationally recognized computer forensics investigation firms" to help handle the investigation, and to determine how much data was affected, it says.

MAPCO has advised its customers who think they may be at risk to contact their banks or payment card firms and begin monitoring account activity. They can also call MAPCO at 877-297-2081 for addition support, and visit this Web page for more information on the breach.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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macker490
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macker490,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2013 | 12:03:46 PM
re: Convenience Store Chain Hacked, Customer Payment Data At Risk
THINK: when you use your card: you are NOT authorizing ONE transaction: you are giving the merchant INDEFINITE UNRESTRICTED access to your account.

if the merchant is hacked the card numbers are then sold on the black market. hackers then prepare bogus cards -- with real customer numbers -- and then send "mules" out to purchase high value items -- that can be resold

it's a rough way to scam cash and the "mules" are most likely to get caught -- not the hackers who compromised the merchants' systems .
macker490
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macker490,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2013 | 11:59:18 AM
re: Convenience Store Chain Hacked, Customer Payment Data At Risk
Fixing the Point of Sale Terminal (POST)

The POST will need to be re-designed to accept customer "Smart Cards"

The Customer Smart Card will need an on-board processor, -- with PGP

When the customer presents the card it DOES NOT send the customer's card number to the POST. Instead, the POST will submit an INVOICE to the customer's card. On customer approval the customer's card will encrypt the invoice together with authorization for payment to the PCI ( Payment Card Industry Card Service Center ) for processing and forward the cipher text to the POST

Neither the POST nor the merchant's computer can read the authorizing message because it is PGP encrypted for the PCI service. Therefore the merchant's POST must forward the authorizing message cipher text to the PCI service center.

On approval the PCI Service Center will return an approval note to the POST and an EFT from the customer's account to the merchant's account.

The POST will then print the PAID invoice. The customer picks up the merchandise and the transaction is complete.

The merchant never knows who the customer was: the merchant never has ANY of the customer's PII data.

Cards are NOT updated. They are DISPOSABLE and are replaced at least once a year -- when the PGP signatures are set to expire. Note that PGP signatures can also be REVOKED if the card is lost.
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