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Target Breach: Phishing Attack Implicated
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rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/14/2014 | 9:58:33 AM
My Theory
They captured credentials from Fazio when they logged into Target's network and subsequently when they logged into an in-store HVAC console.  The console was likely good ole Windows XP, not patched and no malware detection.  The credentials were probably also a "local admin" meaning they owned that console and could install anything they wanted on it and use it to determine how to compromise the router to allow POS VLAN access or, if the HVAC system was wireless, compromise an in-store Wireless network.  Once on that network, it probably wasn't hard to use a remote execution attack against Windows XP-based POS systems that might have also been missing critical patches making them vulnerable to remote attacks.
Drew Conry-Murray
50%
50%
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/14/2014 | 9:56:03 AM
Random or targeted
When I saw the headline, I assumed the attackers had identified the HVAC company as a Target supplier and deliberately went after them with a spear-phishing attack. But if it was just a random chance (a fishing expedition?), these guys stumbled across a good one. That said, the attackers seemed really prepared to exploit the opportunity, so maybe they had retailers in mind from the outset.
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