Here’s How Hackers Stole 110 Million Americans’ Data From Target

It appears to be among the biggest phishing catches of all time.

cybersecurity - hacker with credit card and black mask
National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
Feb. 12, 2014, 10:02 a.m.

More than 110 mil­lion Tar­get cus­tom­ers had their cred­it-card in­form­a­tion stolen be­cause at least one em­ploy­ee of a heat­ing and air-con­di­tion­ing con­tract­or suc­cumbed to an email phish­ing scheme, cy­ber­se­cur­ity blog­ger Bri­an Krebs re­por­ted Wed­nes­day.

The rev­el­a­tion, if true, is the strongest in­dic­a­tion yet of what went wrong since Krebs first ex­posed the massive heist of con­sumer fin­an­cial data at the na­tion­al re­tail gi­ant late last year, a start­ling cy­ber­at­tack that has promp­ted in­tense con­gres­sion­al in­quiry. Nei­man Mar­cus and oth­er chains have also re­cently been vic­tim­ized, though it is not be­lieved that the per­pet­rat­ors are the same.

Last week, Krebs re­por­ted that hack­ers in­filt­rated Tar­get’s net­work by swip­ing the lo­gin cre­den­tials of Fazio Mech­an­ic­al Ser­vices, a Pennsylvania-based con­tract­or.

Now, an­onym­ous sources tell Krebs that cre­den­tials “were stolen in an email mal­ware at­tack at Fazio that began at least two months be­fore thieves star­ted steal­ing card data from thou­sands of Tar­get cash re­gisters.” It ap­pears that the cul­prits used a pass­word-steal­ing bot known as Cit­adel to get the job done.

Fazio, in re­sponse to its sud­den no­tori­ety last week, sent out a state­ment ex­plain­ing that it had been “the vic­tim of a soph­ist­ic­ated cy­ber­at­tack op­er­a­tion.” But Krebs notes that the com­pany’s de­fense against ma­li­cious at­tacks was a free ver­sion of a some­what im­pot­ent anti-mal­ware pro­gram, which “is made ex­pli­citly for in­di­vidu­al users and its li­cense pro­hib­its cor­por­ate use.”

Mem­bers of Con­gress are call­ing for a bill to cre­ate a na­tion­al re­port­ing stand­ard for data breaches sim­il­ar to the one that hit Tar­get. Re­tail­ers and fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions would be re­quired to no­ti­fy gov­ern­ment and con­sumers of breaches when they oc­cur.

The new rev­el­a­tions ar­rive on a day when the White House rolled out a set of vol­un­tary guidelines in­ten­ded to help busi­nesses de­fend them­selves against hack­ers.

What We're Following See More »
WILL THEY MAKE THE INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE?
2,000 High-Risk Dams in Need of Repair
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

If President Trump gets his wish and Congress delivers him a $1 trillion infrastructure package to sign, engineers will be clamoring to get a number of dams a piece of that pie. "Nearly 2,000 state-regulated high-hazard dams in the United States were listed as being in need of repair in 2015, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. A dam is considered “high hazard” based on the potential for the loss of life as a result of failure. By 2020, 70 percent of the dams in the United States will be more than 50 years old, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers."

Source:
PLEDGES OBAMACARE REPEAL
Pence: White House Is in the “Promise-Keeping Business”
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Over at the White House, I like to say we're in the promise-keeping business these days." That was Vice President Pence's message to CPAC on Thursday night. Specifically, he pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare, and reform the immigration system.

Source:
HAD ATTRACTED A CROWD TODAY
Alt-Right Leader Spencer Removed from CPAC
17 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SAYS LEFT WILL GO INTO “MELTDOWN”
Cruz Predicts Another SCOTUS Vacancy “This Summer”
21 hours ago
THE LATEST
THE QUESTION
How Many Signatures Has the Petition for Trump’s Tax Returns Received?
23 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 1 million, setting a record. More than 100,000 signatures triggers an official White House response.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login