Posts Tagged ‘skimming’

https://contactless.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/appsdesigner_brief_page4.png?w=150&h=300&h=299

Above image: Copyright © 2012 RFID Protect

The Australian edition of Secure Business Intelligence magazine, (or SC to those in the know), has uncovered evidence of a new Android app capable of skimming customer data from contactless payment cards!  Earlier this year Thomas Cannon (ViaForensics) successfully demonstrated (on ITN Channel 4 News) a prototype app for NFC smartphones that could e-pickpocket the victims’ bank card account number, expiry dates and obtain sufficient details to enable purchases with a major online store.

It seems that Developer Thomas Skora, (Integralis), has taken Canons’ concept one step further – his new app called ‘paycardreader‘ not only skims card details, but it is claimed this tech can also access, “…transactions and merchant IDs” when tested against certain PayPass Mastercards.

Interviewed by SC during an awareness-raising event for the security industry,

Skora stated that his app was, “…only for technical demonstration”.

SC magazine suggests that the app, “…was available for download on the Google Play Store and on GitHub” although we were unable to track it down and suspect that it has since been removed for fear this technology will fall into the wrong hands.

Mindful that in Thomas Cannon and Thomas Skora we now have two independent app developers that have successfully produced a functional ‘e-pickpocket’ app for smartphones, important questions need to be asked of our security professionals. For instance, are there more developers working on similar applications we wonder? And just how long before organised crime produces its own version?  After all, it could be argued that the prospect of a ‘contactless’ theft – one where the victim doesn’t even realise they’ve been ‘mugged’ – will be an attractive proposition for career criminals; and therefore is likely to be an idea worthy of their time and investment.

Learn more about e-pickpocketing at: www.e-pickpocket.com

Or watch Thomas Cannon in action here: www.rfidprotect.co.uk/video6.html

Original source:  http://www.scmagazine.com.au/News/305881,android-app-steals-contactless-credit-card-data.aspx

Image

“All I did was tap my phone over your wallet and using the wireless reader on the phone I was able to lift out the details from your card, that includes the long card number, the expiry date and your name.”  Thomas Cannon, ViaForensics

Finally, the ‘eagle has landed’.

So when your bank tells you that a new ‘contactless’ payment card is 100% secure, perhaps you’ll keep in mind their track record for ‘security’ and that we’ve been calling for a greater awareness of the vulnerabilities of ‘contactless’ payment technologies for over two years now!

There’s probably nothing to worry about in the longer-term, but right now and – just to be on the safe side – then why not avoid potential mayhem and consider a low-cost ‘anti-skim’ sleeve for that new ‘contactless’ credit or debit card; such as those that can be purchased from RFID Protect.

This article makes reference to an original story by Benjamin Cohen, who is Channel 4 News’ Technology Correspondent.  You can watch the video here, or read the full story at  Channel 4 News

DN Systems has published a helpful overview of the considerable benefits that come with new ‘contactless’ technologies, and also some of the alleged associated risks for businesses keen to deploy this new technology. Firstly, it seems important to keep in mind that this is a relatively new sector, and therefore security policies are still in their infancy – so this is a shifting terrain.  Whilst companies may have given much thought to the design of their RFID enabled devices (for instance door-access control cards, RFID tags, and ID cards) – their supporting ‘back-end’ IT systems may still have possible inherent flaws.

A spokesperson for DN Systems said, “…RFID tags are always an integral part of a larger IT system and should be seen in this context. Given a compatible RFID reader device, anyone can freely read and modify data stored on these RFID tags without the legitimate owner even being aware of it. RFID auditing tools like RFDump can be used to explore the weaknesses of existing RFID infrastructures.”

Is on-tag encryption – a cause for concern?
Certain RFID tags carry something called ‘on-tag encryption’.  DN Systems argue that this approach is inherently vulnerable to unauthorised access and modification.  ‘On-tag’ encryption simply means that the code used to access the RFID devices’ data is stored on the device itself.  (In this respect, it would be a little like writing down the PIN code for a new credit card somewhere on the surface of the card – duh!)

Some suggest that with the right equipment it is possible to break the encryption on such devices.  Using a software package such as ‘RFDump’, DN Systems suggest the information contained within the RFID device can be manipulated.

The ‘Mifare Classic’ chip (used in public transport systems and building access control across the globe – even today?) appears vulnerable to this sort of probing.

DN Systems have this to say on the matter, “At the Chaos Computer Congress 2007 Karsten Nohl from the University of Virginia presented the results of his research. Nohl had analyzed the Mifare chip layer by layer under an electron microscope and reverse engineered significant parts of its proprietary encryption logic revealing major design flaws showing how easy it is to break the chip’s security features. With the dollar amount of the ticket directly stored on the tag, ticketing systems based on this chip, like the Oyster Card in London or the Charlie Card in Boston, are at risk. An attacker could attempt to either clone a ticket or change its value to gain illegal access to the service provided. Similar cloning and tampering scenarios apply to other open loop applications as well, including hotel key cards, ski lift and event tickets, electronic payment systems and the electronic passport.”

But that was then – this is now…
The ‘Mifare Classic’ chip emerged way back in 1994 and has since been superseded by more improved products with so-called “light-weight cryptography” solutions for the RFID element.

Today’s RFID chips contain approximately 15,000 secure ‘gates’. Although DN Systems is keen to stress that, “…only a fraction of these are available to implement crypto functionality, the rest is required to implement the tag’s state. Strong private key crypto systems on the other hand require at least 20,000 – 30,000 gates alone when implemented in hardware.”

What the above would appear to suggest (to this layperson at least) is that in order to deliver a 100% secure solution a designer would require more ‘gates’ than are currently available with commercially available RFID tags.  Therefore, whilst recent developments – i.e. since the ‘Mifare Classic’ –  have made our ‘contactless’ experience far more secure –  there is still further to go.

Some percieved RFID vulnerabilities
Ranked in no particular order of importance, what follows is an overview of common perceived RFID vulnerabilities:

  • RFID Cloning: Here the target RFID device (often a tag) is probed for vulnerabilities, and once compromised a duplicate is made.  This identical copy allows the perpetrator access to a secure area (i.e. cloned door-entry pass) or the prospect of introducing non-authorised products into an operations’ supply chain.  Another tactic would be to manipulate the value of goods, via cloned item tags, when shopping.  This phenomenon has been dubbed, “Cyber Shop-lifting”.
  • Malicious Code Injection: In this scenario, the aim of the perpetrator is to introduce a virus into the RFID device, which once read seeks to corrupt or crash an associated ‘back-office’ IT support system.  The main aim is to cause disruption or ‘hack’ into a secure area – such as a database.  What, you don’t believe the databases of major corporations can be ‘hacked’ – well, here’s an overview of some of the more staggering database ‘hacks’ over the last decade.
  • Man in the middle: Here the perpetrator seeks to trick users into presenting their RFID enabled device to a non-authorised reader.  The goal is to decrypt certain information during this electronic transaction that might provide useful keys for performing other attacks in due course.
  • Electronic eavesdropping / Skimming information:  This subject has already been explored at length elsewhere on this blog:
    https://contactless.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/eavesdropping-attacks-on-high-frequency-rfid-tokens/

The above vulnerabilities should not be read as proof that all RFID devices will be compromised in due course.  Nor should we fear a new crime wave at this point in time.  Rather, this article seeks to raise awareness that with any new technology come benefits and drawbacks – often in equal measures.

British-based company RFID Protect has positioned itself in this arena, as an operation that provides a range of security counter-measures for those seeking to combat some of the above issues.

To learn even more about this fascinating subject or to view the original article visit: http://www.dn-systems.de/technology/risks/

A decade of database hacking?The UK banking sector appears pretty confident in its assertions that ‘contactless’ technology is 100% secure from unauthorised access, and similar claims are also made in respect of Britain’s e-passport.  The argument goes something like this; without an ability to cross-reference information that has been ‘skimmed’ from a contactless device with a user profile that is held within a central database – then the data obtained by the ‘skimmer’ is meaningless.  It’s a reasonable argument, one that makes sense and ought to offer us a very real measure of confidence in ‘contactless’ banking.  However, with the announcement that Sony’s PlayStation has fallen victim to a serious hacking incident, leaving users vulnerable to ID theft, some may wonder just how many customer databases elsewhere have been compromised in recent years?

The results of a very ‘quick and dirty’ trawl through certain internet news portals, looking for examples of database hacking, makes for unsettling reading.

But do keep in mind there’s no need to worry unduly about contactless crime; as a number of products are already available that will allow any concerned carrier of RFID-enabled cards or passports to shield their data. For instance RFID Protect in the UK, offers a wide range of ‘anti-skim’ shielding products.

So here’s a snapshot of some newsworthy hacks – or data losses – over the past decade.

28 February 2014: Suffolk hacker charged with accessing U.S. Federal Reserve servers

Four months following his arrest in Suffolk, England by UK law enforcement agencies, Lauri Love has been charged with gaining unlawful access to U.S. Federal Reserve and military computer servers.  He is further accused of widely disclosing sensitive information about individuals who use these systems; such as access names, email addresses and telephone details.

Although the extent of the data breach is not yet clear, the hacker appears to have deployed a “sequel injection” hacking technique and his transgression is considered serious enough to warrant a potential 10 year prison sentence.

Evidence has emerged that the hacker may have worked alongside three co-conspirators to infiltrate other systems; such as the U.S. Missile Defence Agency, NASA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/uk-usa-crime-hacking-idUKBREA1Q1RL20140227?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

13 February 2014: Hackers gain access to over 2,000 Tesco.com customer accounts

UK supermarket giant Tesco.com is “urgently investigating” a significant data breach, which has seen over 2,000 customer accounts hacked by a third party.  BBC sources suggest that users’ passwords and email addresses were compromised; the details of which have been posted online in an attempt to acquire store vouchers unlawfully.

Tesco has issued a public statement of reassurance and claims it has contacted all customers who may have been affected by this security breach.

Cross-referencing customer information from other successful (and unrelated) hacking incidents elsewhere appears to have been central to the Tesco.com breach.

Source: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1280920/tesco-urgently-investigating-hacking-customer-data

12 January 2014: Hackers steal the personal information of at least 70 million customers from high-street retailers over the festive season

American luxury specialty department store, Neiman Marcus, has admitted that it has also fallen prey to a massive cyber attack – which began with Target’s December 19 disclosure that some 40 million payment card numbers had been stolen.

On Friday January 11 2014, a spokesperson for The Target Corporation issued a statement to the effect that, “…this data breach was worse than initially thought.”

A subsequent investigation has established that hackers successfully stole the personal information of at least 70 million customers; including names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.

70 million customers – in a word, staggering!

Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/12/uk-target-databreach-retailers-idUKBREA0B01A20140112

23 April 2013: UK Police Forces apologise after staff data sent to a private security firm

Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire police forces issued formal apologies to over 1,000 staff after mistakenly releasing their personal details to G4S (a private security contractor). A spokesperson for the three police forces explained that the breach occurred during negotiations with G4S, concerning the potential to outsource certain office functions.

G4S confirmed that any files containing sensitive date had now been deleted, and the police authorities issued apologies to those staff affected.

David Craig from the union Unison said: “Many of the members of staff affected are understandably angry and will be reviewing their individual position following any determination by the ICO at the appropriate time.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made a firm commitment to investigate this matter.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-22265315

29 August 2012: Cambridge University hacked

The University of Cambridge has announced it will investigate serious hacking claims linked to certain software systems on campus.  Media sources have revealed that several university departments and ‘secure’ databases were unlawfully accessed by hacking outfit ‘NullCrew’.  There is a growing suspicion that NullCrew has ties with hacking network ‘Anonymous’ and its action at Cambridge University has in some way been an attempt to support the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19409510

16 November 2011: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) hacked

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) released a statement regarding an incident of unauthorized access to a campus computing server. The VCU server housed files with the personal information on more than 175,000 current and former faculty, staff, students and affiliates. Servers supporting a VCU system uncovered suspicious files on one of its servers. During forensic investigation, subsequent analysis then showed the intruders had compromised a second server – thru the first server attack – which contained data on 176,567 individuals.

Data items included either a name or eID, Social Security Number and, in some cases, date of birth, contact information, and various programmatic or departmental information.

Source: http://www.cr80news.com/2011/11/16/virgina-cyber-attack-exposes-more-than-175-000-campus-affiliates?issue=cr80news_20111116

1 November 2011: UK local councils – a history of misplacing our private data

A new report makes the disturbing claim that some 132 authorities are implicated in over 1,034 individual instances of private data loss since 2008.  The report has revealed that, “…at least 244 laptops and portable computers, 98 memory sticks and 93 mobile devices went missing between 2008 and 2011.”

In light of this development, The Information Commissioner (ICO) reminded the 132 councils involved of their obligations under the Data Protection Act (2003), i.e. to keep private data secure.

Only 55 incidents were reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and just 9 people were ousted as a consequence, according to those councils which responded.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15840373

15 June 2011: Citibank & International Monetary Fund (IMF) hacked

Last week’s data breach at Citibank, which is said to have compromised the personal details of up to 200,000 consumers, was followed on Monday by a reported hack at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Serious incidents at two of the world’s most high-profile financial institutions within a matter of days of one another has once again highlighted the need for new legislation to govern online financial services and ensure authentication is in place.

Source: http://blog.gemalto.com/blog/2011/06/15/citi-data-breach-shows-need-for-new-ffiec-regulations/

14 June 2011: National Health Service (NHS) UK database hacked

Computer hackers have penetrated NHS systems, triggering fears that the security of highly sensitive patient records is at risk. The hackers are part of the same online gang that recently hacked into electronics giant Sony, accessing the images of a million users.  The self-styled ‘pirate ninjas’, known as Lulz Security, sent a warning to the NHS that its computer networks were vulnerable to cyber attack. In an email to health staff, hackers gave evidence of some of the passwords, saying: ‘While you aren’t considered an enemy – your work is of course brilliant – we did stumble upon several of your admin passwords.’

The hackers added: ‘We mean you no harm and only want to help you fix your tech issues.’

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001816/NHS-computers-hacked-Fears-patient-data.html

21 May 2011: Lockheed Martin Corporation in near-miss hacking episode

Lockheed Martin Corp., the U.S. government’s top information technology provider, released a statement to the effect that it detected and thwarted, “a significant and tenacious attack” on its information systems network in May 2011.  The statement continued stating that Lockheed’s information security personnel, “…are working around the clock to restore employee access to the “information systems network” targeted in the May 21 attack.” Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier by sales and the world’s largest aerospace company, has kept the “appropriate U.S. government agencies” informed of its actions, it added.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43199200

27 April 2011: Sony’s PlayStation hacked

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network.  Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13206004

20 April 2011: Children’s Place says customer database hacked

(Reuters) – Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc said its customer database has been hacked, and clients were sent an unauthorized email directing them to a website where they were asked to enter their credit card numbers for a software upgrade. The company notified customers about the hacking on Tuesday evening through an email. “Our third party email service provider has informed us that only email addresses were accessed and no other personal information was obtained,” the company said in the email. “The Children’s Place would not ask you, in an email, to update any software or for other highly sensitive personal information,” the email said. The Secaucus, New Jersey-based company has been leaning heavily on e-commerce sales to boost business.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/20/us-childrensplace-idUSTRE73J3DG20110420

18 April 2011: European Space Agency hacked

A hacker has claimed to have breached the European Space Agency, gaining access to and publishing online what appears to be 200 usernames, passwords and email addresses related to the organisation, along with details on root servers and databases.

Source: http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/redirect.php?artid=732151

14 April 2011: WordPress hacked

Open source blogging website WordPress.com suffered a hack attack on its servers, prompting the company behind the popular content management system to issue a warning about passwords. In a brief note from Automattic, it said that an intruder broke into WordPress.com and gained access to multiple servers and the source code that powers blogs for its VIP customers, including CNN, CBS, Flickr and TED. This attack follows a distributed-denial-of-service attack that knocked WP offline last month.

Source: http://newsofthemedia.com/2011/04/wordpress-com-hacked/

13 April 2011: Barracuda Networks Embarrassed By Database Hack

Hacked security company Barracuda lost email addresses of employees, channel partners and sales leads. Security software producer Barracuda Networks was hit by a SQL injection attack launched on April 9 while the company’s own Barracuda Web Application Firewall was offline for scheduled maintenance, Michael Perone, Barracuda Network executive vice president, wrote on the corporate blog. The attacker uncovered email addresses of select Barracuda employees with their passwords as well as name, email address, company affiliations and phone numbers of sales leads generated by the company’s channel partners. Barracuda does not store any financial information in that database. “The bad news is that we made a mistake,” Perone said.

Source:  http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/barracuda-networks-embarrassed-by-database-hack-26539

4 April 2011: JPMorgan, Kroger Database Hacked

Personal information about some JPMorgan Chase & Co and Kroger Co customers was exposed as part of a data breach at a large online marketing vendor. The data breach included some email addresses of JPMorgan Chase customers and names and email addresses of Kroger customers, the companies said in separate statements on Friday. Epsilon, a unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp, said on Friday that a person outside the company hacked into some of its clients’ customer files. Some of Epsilon’s other clients include Verizon, Blackstone Group LP’s Hilton Hotels, Kraft, and AstraZeneca.

Source: http://malwareresearchgroup.com/2011/04/jpmorgan-kroger-database-hacked/

31 March 2011: IEEE member database hacked

Over 800 members’ credit card details exposed. A hacker stole the credit card details of over 800 members of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) last December, according to its law firm.  A team of IEEE-appointed forensic investigators “concluded that a file containing customer credit card information had been deleted on or about November 17, 2010”, the institute’s law firm told the Attorney General of New Hampshire in February.  The forensic team believed that 828 members’ credit card numbers, associated names, expiration dates and security numbers may have been accessed.

Source: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/252885,ieee-member-database-hacked.aspx

29 March 2011: Australia PM Julia Gillard’s computer ‘hacked'(original article Written by BBC News)

The government was alerted to the security breach by a US intelligence tip-off, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said. It is reported that several thousand emails may have been accessed from the computers of at least 10 ministers. The Australian authorities have refused to confirm or deny on the reports. The cyber attacks are believed to have targeted the Australian Parliament House email network, the less secure of two networks used by MPs. Among the computers allegedly breached were those belonging to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

Source:  http://www.digitalforensicsmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=599:australia-pm-julia-gillards-computer-hacked&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

24 March 2011: TripAdvisor database hacked – email addresses compromised

If you have ever rated something on TripAdvisor, you may be in for a nasty surprise in your inbox in the coming weeks. Last weekend, hackers penetrated the TripAdvisor member database and stole up to 20 million records. In a statement issued by TripAdvisor on their site, the only information they say was impacted involved email address. TripAdvisor does not store credit card information or other financial data and passwords are said to be secure. As a precaution, it may still be safe to change your TripAdvisor password and anywhere else you used that same password.

Source: http://www.gadling.com/2011/03/24/tripadvisor-database-hacked-email-addresses-compromised/

24 March 2011: Have cybercriminals hacked Visa/Mastercard 3-D Secure?

You’re probably familiar with the 3-D Secure system of card security for online transactions – aka Verified by Visa (for Visa) and SecureCode (for MasterCard) – but now a security researcher is reporting that cybercriminals may have found a way around the online transaction security. According to former Washington Post security researcher Brian Krebs, a dashboard panel in a cracking utility he accessed online has a tab labelled `Arcot.’ “Arcot Systems is the company whose software powers the authentication system used by MasterCard’s SecureCode and Visa’s Verified by Visa programs”, he says in his latest security blog. “What’s interesting is that the thieves could defeat these security systems by gathering personal data on victim card holders, which they appear to have done here”, he adds. Krebs goes on to note that the panel, like others used in tandem with Zeus – for example, Jabberzeus – is also is set up to alert the botmaster via Jabber instant message when a new set of credentials is stolen. Infosecurity notes that this is a potentially serious development, as the 3-D Secure passphrase system was developed to authenticate online users’ payment card transactions. If the technology has been subverted by hackers in an automated package/service in this way, there could be serious consequences for online card security.

Source: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/16821/have-cybercriminals-hacked-visamastercard-3d-secure/

21 March 2011: Hacked security firm leaves Aussies vulnerable

Hundreds of thousands of cryptographic tokens used by Australians who bank online, governments, airline staff and other large companies vulnerable to a potential hack attack.

Source: http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/redirect.php?artid=681369

21 February 2011: Hackers Penetrate Nasdaq Computers

Hackers have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past year, and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter. The exchange’s trading platform—the part of the system that executes trades—wasn’t compromised, these people said. However, it couldn’t be determined which other parts of Nasdaq’s computer network were accessed. Investigators are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange.

“So far, [the perpetrators] appear to have just been looking around,” said one person involved in the Nasdaq matter. Another person familiar with the case said the incidents were, for a computer network, the equivalent of someone sneaking into a house and walking around but—apparently, so far—not taking or tampering with anything.

A spokesman for Nasdaq declined to comment.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124502351634690.html

11 January 2011: UConn Customer Database Hacked

UConn is warning thousands of customers who bought items on it’s HuskyDirect.com website that their personal information may have been exposed in a data security breach. A hacker obtained access to the HuskyDirect.com database containing billing information for 18,000 customers. The website is used by people to buy sports gear from the UConn Co-op. The information at risk includes customers’ names, addresses, email, telephone number, credit card number, expiration date and security code, according to the university. The database is run by an outside vendor, which contacted the Co-op about the security breach. It is still unclear how many accounts were actually accessed, UConn said in a release. The Co-op instructed the vendor to take down the database, and has notified authorities, the release stated. Customers who purchased items in the Co-op with a credit card, or students to bought text books or made purchases in the store are not at risk. Those affected were notified by the Co-op, and a process has begun to arrange for credit protection for those customers, the university said.

Source: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/UConn-Customer-Database-Hacked-113307219.html

20 December 2010: English Defence League donor details ‘stolen’ after database hacked

Police are believed to be investigating the security breach, which also included the far-Right groups’s payment system being illegally accessed, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Amid fears of violence toward members, the EDL said it will support vulnerable people. They also urged members to change their online shopping details after concerns were raised that they would be published on the internet. Officials were forced to email supporters after the incident, which is understood to have occurred in recent days, apologising for the “attack”.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8212778/English-Defence-League-donor-details-stolen-after-database-hacked.html

13 December 2010: McDonald’s: Customer Database Hacked

McDonald’s Corp. says some of its customers’ private information was exposed during a data breach. The company said Monday that a third-party was able to get past security measures and see into a database of its customer information that included e-mail, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates and other specifics that they provided when signing up for online promotions or other subscriptions to its websites.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/13/mcdonalds-customer-databa_n_796097.html

12 December 2010: Gawker Commenter Database Hacked

If you’ve ever commented on one of the Gawker Media sites, you might want to change your password. According to Mediaite, Gawker’s commenter database has been hacked. The database is home to about 1.5 million usernames, emails, and passwords. Gawker originally denied that there had been a breach. “No evidence to suggest any Gawker Media’s user accounts were compromised, and passwords encrypted anyway,” tweeted Gawker editorial directer Scott Kidder. However, Kidder eventually confirmed the hack.”Our user databases do indeed appear to have been compromised,” he said in a note on the site. “The passwords were encrypted. But simple ones may be vulnerable to a brute-force attack You should change the password on Gawker (GED/commenting system) and on any other sites on which you’ve used the same passwords. Out of an abundance of caution, you should also change your company email password and any passwords that might have appeared in your email messages.”

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374231,00.asp

9 December 2010: Cyberattacks against MasterCard, Visa, PayPal

Hackers launched cyberattacks yesterday against MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, a Swiss bank, Swedish prosecutors, Sarah Palin and others deemed an enemy of WikiLeaks and its jailed founder, Julian Assange. Calling themselves “Anonymous,” the hackers, who previously waged war against the Church of Scientology, overloaded the target Web sites with “denial of service” attacks. “If we let WikiLeaks fall without a fight, then governments will think they can just take down any sites they wish,” one hacker told The Guardian newspaper of Britain.

Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/site_foes_get_hacked_wTpSCLhT3i4GDr8CA4Gr4I#ixzz1KiHXbRVk

31 August 2009: UK Parliament Website Hacked

A hacker broke into the database of the UK Parliament website by exploiting an SQL injection vulnerability. The incident reveals very poor and questionable password security practices on behalf of the website administration. The security hole on parliament.uk was discovered by a Romanian greyhat hacker going by the online handle of “Unu,” who has made a habit of testing high profile websites for similar bugs. The website’s database is called parliament_live; fortunately, it cannot be accessed directly from a remote host. What is more disconcerting though is what a peak into the database table housing the website’s administrative accounts revealed. First of all, the passwords are stored in plain text, which is a major security oversight. Secondly, the passwords are very weak from a security perspective, many being identical to the username they are associated with and almost all of them being common words. One of the accounts called “fullera” is likely to belong to Alex Fuller, who, according to his LinkedIn profile page, is currently employed as a senior web producer for the UK Parliament. Two other accounts that have captured our attention are called “reida” and “moss,” but we are unable to confirm if these belong to Mr. Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP, and Mr. Malcolm Moss, Conservative MP.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/UK-Parliament-Website-Hacked-120511.shtml

11 September 2009: RBS WorldPay downplays database hack reports

RBS WorldPay and a hacker are at loggerheads over the seriousness of a supposed breach on websites run by the payment processing firm. Security shortcomings – since blocked – on RBS WorldPay website exposed confidential information, including admin passwords and the contact details of partners, according to blog posts by Romanian hacker Unu. The grey-hat hacker previously exposed similar problems on the websites of the UK parliament and HSBC France, among many others. As before he published screenshots to back up his latest claims. RBS WorldPay initially responded to our inquiries by saying that the reported SQL injection attacks mounted by Unu were thrown against test websites. All the dummy data involved was fictitious and in no way confidential, so there was no breach.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/11/rbs_worldpay_security_snafu/

16 July 2009: Five NHS Trusts slammed by ICO for breaching Data Protection Act

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued more warnings to NHS bodies after five Trusts have been found to breach the Data Protection Act, with one trust leaving patient notes on a bus. The latest warnings join a long list of data protection warnings by the NHS, as the ICO once again warned hospital trusts about the importance of data security. In February, three trusts were hit with enforcement action within two weeks. Five trusts – Royal Free Hampstead, Chelsea and Westminster, Hampshire Partnership, Surrey and Sussex, and Epsom and St Helier — have signed formal undertakings to process personal data legally in future, the ICO said on Tuesday. NHS knuckle-rapped for lax data protection

Source: http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/15780/five-nhs-trusts-slammed-by-ico-for-breaching-data-protection-act/

10 June 2009: T-Mobile confirms customer records taken

T-Mobile has now confirmed that a hacker, known as “Pwnmobile,” gained unauthorized access to its records and that the stolen data Pwnmobile posted online is authentic. A spokesman for the wireless giant said,  “…regarding the recent claim, we’ve identified the document from which information was copied, and believe possession of this alone is not enough to cause harm to our customers.”

Source: http://www.hackinthebox.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=31706

11 May 2009: UC Berkeley Database Hacked, 160,000 Records Compromised

The FBI is investigating a data breach that occurred when hackers infiltrated a medical database shared by the University of California, Berkeley, and Mills College that contained health-care information and Social Security numbers for more than 160,000 students, alumni and their families. Security experts say the hack could have been prevented by protecting the sensitive medical information stored on easily accessible spreadsheets. News of the data breach came to light Friday after it was discovered that hackers had broken into a medical database UC Berkeley shared with Mills College that contained health-related information for students, alumni and their families.The stolen data included more than 97,000 Social Security numbers, as well as health insurance information and nontreatment medical information, such as immunization records and the names of some of the physicians the victims have seen for diagnoses or treatment. UC Berkeley officials said, however, that personal records, such as patients’ treatments and therapies, were stored on a separate system not affected by the data breach.

Source: http://www.crn.com/news/security/217400303/uc-berkeley-database-hacked-160-000-records-compromised.htm;jsessionid=oqI03+3oLKdTlpw4nL10TA**.ecappj01

30 April 2009: UK hospital loses the medical treatment details of 741 patients

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridgeshire was instructed by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to overhaul its security in the wake of a massive data loss in 2008.  It transpires that a USB memory stick – (or ‘flash drive’) – containing the unencrypted medical treatment details of 741 patients went missing after, “…a member of staff left it in an unattended vehicle”.  Although the device was subsequently returned to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, its governing body Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was found to be in breach of The Data Protection Act (2003).

The Hospital has made a firm commitment to review its security measures and will seek to protect personal information more effectively in the future.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/8027709.stm

3 March 2009: Prime Minister’s health records breached in NHS database attack

Personal medical records belonging to Scotland’s rich and powerful – including Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Holyrood’s First Minister Alex Salmond – have been illegally accessed in a breach of a national database that holds details of 2.5 million people. The files contained names, ages, addresses, and occupations of the patients, in addition to medical information such as a list of any current medications and allergies to medicines, according to The Sunday Mail. The records of BBC newswoman Jackie Bird (an earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to her as “newsman”) and former Labour leader Jack McConnell and his culture chief wife Bridget were also accessed.

Source: http://www.hackinthebox.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=30268

1 January 2009: Monster’s databases hacked – Data fraud hits job seekers

Monster Worldwide Inc., the popular global website for job hunters, said Tuesday that hackers have broken into its databases and stolen personal data. Monster spokeswoman Nikki Richardson confirmed that sites around the world had been targeted, but said some regions, notably Asia Pacific and eastern Europe, were spared. She said Monster was working with the “appropriate law enforcement agencies” but declined to say in which countries. In the United States, where the company is based, “an investigation is in progress.” Monster operates in 36 countries with millions of users, including 4.5 million in Britain. A statement on http://www.monster.com said: “We recently learned our database was illegally accessed and certain contact and account data were taken, including Monster user IDs and passwords, email addresses, names, phone numbers, and some basic demographic data.” The breach did not access resumes, social security numbers or financial data, Monster said. The company advised clients to change their password and said it had taken its own “corrective steps.”  The company processes 100 million payment card transactions every month for 175,000 businesses, USA Today daily reported.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20090128-186000/Monsters-databases-hacked

23 August 2005: U.S. Military Database Hacked – Air Force Personnel Files For 33,000 Officers And Others At Risk

A suspected hacker has tapped into a U.S. military database containing Social Security numbers and other personal information for 33,000 Air Force officers and some enlisted personnel, an Air Force spokesman said Tuesday. That figure represents about half of the officers in the Air Force, but no identity theft had been reported as of early Tuesday, said Tech. Sgt. James Brabenec, a spokesman at Randolph Air Force Base. The case was under investigation. “We are doing everything we can to catch and prosecute those responsible,” Maj. Gen. Tony Przybyslawski said in a statement. Social Security numbers, birth dates and other information was accessed sometime in May or June, apparently by someone with the password to the Air Force computer system, Brabenec said. On Friday, the people affected were notified of steps they can take to protect their identity, he said.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/23/tech/main792304.shtml

18 June 2005: 40 Million Credit Card Numbers Hacked – Data Breached at Processing Center (Washington Post Staff Writers)

More than 40 million credit card numbers belonging to U.S. consumers were accessed by a computer hacker and are at risk of being used for fraud, MasterCard International Inc. said yesterday. In the largest security breach of its kind, MasterCard officials said all credit card brands were affected, including 13.9 million cards bearing the MasterCard label. A spokeswoman for Visa USA Inc. confirmed that 22 million of its card numbers may have been breached, while Discover Financial Services Inc. said it did not yet know if its cards were affected. MasterCard officials said consumers are not held responsible for unauthorized charges on their cards, and that other sensitive personal data, such as Social Security numbers and birth dates, were not stored in the hacked system. So far, no evidence of fraudulent charges has emerged, they said. The breach occurred late last year at a processing center in Tucson operated by CardSystems Solutions Inc., one of several companies that handle transfers of payment between the bank of a credit card-using consumer and the bank of the merchant where a purchase was made. CardSystems’ computers were breached by malicious code that allowed access to customer data, said Josh Peirez, a MasterCard senior vice president. Peirez said MasterCard is certain only that 68,000 of its numbers were taken by the hacker over an unknown amount of time before the breach was discovered. But because the hacker had access to the full database, it is difficult to say how many more numbers may have been taken, he said. He said the breach was not confirmed until about two weeks ago. MasterCard said it has begun notifying banks that issue its cards, which in turn are responsible for notifying cardholders.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/17/AR2005061701031.html

26 February 2005:  Bank of America loses a million customer records

A “small” number of backup tapes with records detailing the financial information of government employees were lost in shipment to a backup center, Bank of America said on Friday. The tapes contained information on the customers and accounts of the U.S. government’s SmartPay charge card program, which has more than 2.1 million members and annual transactions totaling more than $21 billion, according to the General Services Administration. Reports have pegged the number of cards affected at 1.2 million. The acknowledgment comes as several other cases of businesses losing consumer information have come to light. Last week, data collection company ChoicePoint announced that it had given information on approximately 150,000 subscribers to about 50 fake business fronts created by fraudsters.

Source: https://www.hackinthebox.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=15669

18 February 2003: Credit card database hacked

A computer hacker has gained access to more than 5 million Visa and Mastercard credit card accounts in the US. The two companies said on Tuesday that none of the information obtained, which would include credit card numbers, was used in a fraudulent way.But a UK-based business crime expert warned account holders could still be at risk if their cards were not reissued. Visa and Mastercard said the hacker breached the security system of a company that processes credit card transactions on behalf of merchants.The only way to eradicate the risks would be to reissue all 5 million… cards.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2774477.stm

And so it goes on and on…

Find out even more information about what ‘black hat’ hackers may be plotting for the months to come at: http://linux-news.oribium.net/tag/security

US Department of Defense orders RFID shields

US Department of Defense orders RFID shields

It can now be reasonably argued that November 2010 will mark a significant turning point in the debate surrounding RFID or ‘contactless’ credit, debit, passport and door-access security.  For on Wednesday 29 November, 2010  Secure ID News reported the following news,

“…2.5 million radio frequency shielding sleeves (were delivered) to the Department of Defense to protect the contactless Common Access Card (CAC) from data interception. The FIPS 201-approved, shielding sleeves are distributed via RAPIDS ID offices worldwide with the issuance of new CACs.”

Furthermore, the online journal then went on to state,

“…an option to purchase an additional 1,675,000 sleeves was exercised by the Defense Department for final delivery in January 2011. This order will bring the total number of our sleeves 4.2 million. In September, an order for 200,000 rigid, RF shielding, non-metallic badge holders (was also placed).”

Of course, whilst unauthorised data interception from RFID enabled device is not commonplace – this development would strongly suggest that the potential threat of ‘skimming’ is real and growing by the day.

Original source: http://www.secureidnews.com/2010/11/29/defense-department-order-rf-shields-from-national-laminating

UK Government HQAbstract: A UK government-backed report that explores certain security flaws in RFID / contactless technology.  Well worth a read is this…

Source: http://www.ico.gov.uk

“It will be the responsibility of RFID users to prevent any unauthorised access to personal information. One concern is a practice that has become known as “skimming”. Since a transponder’s signal can be picked up by any compatible reader, it is possible for RFID tags to be read by unauthorised readers, which could access personal information stored on them. Users can guard against skimming by using passwords. The EPCglobal Class 1 Generation 2 RFID specification enables the use of a password for accessing a tag’s memory. However, these are not immune to “hacking”.

Most RFID systems require a short distance between tag and reader, making it difficult for “rogue” readers to scan tags but this could nevertheless be done in a situation where people are naturally at close range, for example, on a crowded train. The nominal read range of some tags can also be extended by the use of more powerful readers. It is also possible to read part of a tag’s number by eavesdropping merely on a reader’s communication with a tag. Readers, with a much higher power output than tags, can be read at much greater distances.

While some RFID applications might not need communication between tag and reader to be encrypted, others that process personal and especially sensitive personal data will need an adequate level of encryption to safeguard the data being processed. In most cases “skimmers” would also need a way of accessing the external database containing the personal data, but in some cases inferences might be made about someone from information which in itself does not relate directly to him. If a person leaves a store having purchased items carrying RFID tags that have not been disabled, he carries with him a potential inventory of his possessions. This would enable someone with a suitable reader and knowledge of EPC references to discover what items he was carrying at a given time. Sensitive personal data about a person’s illness, for example, might be unknowingly revealed by him via the EPC referring to the medication in his pocket. An insufficiently secure RFID chip could also be “cloned”. By copying personal data stored on the RFID chip of an identification card, a person could for practical purposes steal the identity of the cardholder. If the information on the database (e.g., a fingerprint) is checked only against the information on the card, rather than directly against the person himself, a criminal would not need to access the information stored on the database.”

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/detailed_specialist_guides/radio_frequency_indentification_tech_guidance.pdf

For more information visit:  RFID Protect

Finally, if you’re in any doubt as to whether or not RFID skimming is a real threat, then perhaps watch the following video evidence.

Video evidence from the United States of America, claiming that RFID enabled devices are vulnerable to skimming, cloning and hacking.

Electronic Pickpocket – YouTube Video
(Approx. 4minutes – n.b: opens in a new window.)

http://www.rfidprotect.co.uk/For UK residents interested in anti-skimming products, we’d suggest making contact with RFID Protect. RFID Protect is a British-based company, and one that offers a full range of RFID shielding kit, much of which can be custom manufactured to carry a client’s branding.

There’s also an added benefit; this being RFID Protects’ work with law enforcement specialists both in the UK and overseas – their shared goal being to raise awareness about RFID skimming, and help people keep their personal data secure.

For more information visit:  RFID Protect

Finally, if you’re in any doubt as to whether or not RFID skimming is a real threat, then perhaps watch the following video evidence.  In this video by UK broadcaster Channel 4 News, Thomas Cannon, of ViaForensics, demonstrates how an ‘electronic pickpocket’ can skim personal information remotely from RFID enabled bank cards using a smartphone application.

Electronic Pickpocket – YouTube Video
(Approx. 4minutes – n.b: opens in a new window.)