From a Hacker's Perspective: How to Breach a Point-of-Sale System

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Launch a Broad-Based Attack

Launch a broad-based attack against a known vulnerability using a watering hole.

In the case of Home Depot, this was most likely done by a group of hackers that specialize in compromising machines and distributing malware. With watering hole attacks, the most common technique is to compromise popular websites and install what is called an 'exploit kit,' which targets known vulnerabilities in the browsers and systems of the users browsing to the compromised website.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 500 data breaches have been reported in the United States this year, showing an increase of 27.5 percent over the same period last year.

At the same time, electronic payments have started to outnumber cash transactions, and hackers have taken notice – with an increased number of point-of-sale (POS) system breaches making the headlines. Recent POS hacks, like those on Home Depot and Target, are likely due, in part, to the systems not being properly protected from potential vulnerabilities, which allows for an easy way in.

In this slideshow, Russ Spitler, vice president of product management at AlienVault, discusses the step-by-step analysis from the perspective of a hacker and what he or she would have to do to breach a POS system.

AlienVault is a leading provider of unified security management and crowd-sourced threat intelligence. Its products are designed and priced to ensure that mid-market organizations can effectively defend themselves against today's advanced threats.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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