In January, Neiman Marcus confirmed that it had suffered a data breach. Initially only a few details were released - all that was shared was that fraudulent charges were found on credit and debit cards of customers of Neiman Marcus. It did not reveal what types of data were stolen or how many customers were affected. A few weeks later, it was revealed that the data breach was much worse than originally thought. Neiman Marcus has since announced that cyber criminals had hacked into their system and had been operating within it for several months. Over 1.1 million credit and debit cards were affected. In this particular hack, the payment terminals inside Neiman Marcus stores were installed with malware. Interestingly enough the malware is the same that attacked Target, and exposed the information of over 110 million customers. Investigators anticipate that the hackers are from Eastern Europe. Neiman Marcus has since shared that the malware infected it’s systems between July 16 and October 30, 2013, and that 2,400 of the cards used at infected terminals have been used fraudulently. The company only discovered the data theft in December, when unauthorized charges were appearing on cards.
How did the data breach happen?
So how exactly did this malware capture credit and debit card data? By infecting the terminals, the malware was able to capture the data. During the payment authorization process, the credit card data is decrypted for a split second in order to gain authorization. RAM-scraping malware steals the unencrypted data. Between the recent hack attacks on Target
and Neiman Marcus, the US government has a renewed focus on credit cards and their security. Most of Europe has adopted EMV technology, which has helped to bring about a dramatic reduction in credit card fraud. In contrast, credit card fraud has increased in the US, currently responsible for 27% of credit card transactions globally, but victim to 47% of credit card fraud. Have you ever had your credit card information stolen? Tell us!