Researchers have discovered new vulnerabilities with hand-held credit and debit card purchasing terminals.
Credit Card Readers Identity Theft
Models which are widely used in the U.K and U.S. have been found to be vulnerable to hackers looking to steal credit card information. The flaw allows thieves to install malware on the readers to siphon card data and PIN numbers. Hackers could even fool the salesclerk by making fraudulent transactions appear to be accepted.
Researchers from MWR InfoSecurity demonstrated these vulnerabilities at the Black Hat Security conference.
Once they have access to the device, they found that hackers could change system applications or even install their own applications. Although the hackers cannot alter the firmware itself, they can place a rouge code directly into the device’s memory. This code would tell the machine to record and store card information on its internal memory. As long as the device is not rebooted, the data would stay on the machine. To retrieve the data, the researchers found that they would simply need to insert a different card into the device which contains another line of code.
This security threat is almost unnoticeable and untraceable. There is no indication on the machine other than an “invalid card error” which appears when the machine tries to read the rouge card. The malware stops the machine from transferring information to the server when the rouge cards are inserted, so there is no record of these two invalid transactions.
Original article “Credit Card Roulette: Payment Terminals Pwned in Vegas” by Kim Zetter
Read the full article at http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/07/pinpadpwned/