Rail Europe North America (RENA), a website Americans use to buy European train tickets, today confirmed a three-month data breach in which customers' payment card data was compromised. RENA reports the incident began on November 29, 2017 and continued through February 16, 2018, when a bank inquiry informed the organization of an attack.
Attackers lifted RENA's data with credit card-skimming malware placed on its website, a particularly concerning aspect of the incident, says Comparitech privacy advocate Paul Bischoff. In most data breaches, cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to a corporate database.
"In this case, however, the hackers were able to affect the front end of the Rail Europe website with 'skimming' malware, meaning customers gave payment and other information directly to the hackers through the website," he explains. "While the details haven't been fully disclosed, the fact that this went on for three months shows a clear lack of security by Rail Europe."
Skimmers are usually placed on top of hardware so it seems like they are part of the payment portal, he says. This means just about all payment info was current when it was submitted - and the attackers took more than credit card numbers, expirations dates, and verification codes. They also stole name and gender info, delivery and invoicing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases, usernames and passwords.
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