18/12/2013
Dexter Virus Infiltrates POS Systems and Credit Card Machines

Is your business safe? You might want to recheck that. If you think P.O.S. systems and credit card machines can’t be infected by viruses, then you’re wrong. Even though it doesn’t look like a normal computer, P.O.S. systems and credit card machines still behave and act like small computers. They also connect to networks and the Internet. This is why they can be targets of online threats such as malware and viruses.

In the past several months, a number of United States businesses were infected by the so-called Dexter Virus. Their computers were not infected but rather, their P. O. S. systems and credit card machines. Most of these businesses were restaurants located across the country.

The discovery began last year when 31 POS systems, or also known as point-of-sale systems, were reported to be infected. The researchers from Securlert determined that a program called StarDust was behind the infection. You won’t believe how many credit cards were affected by this bug. It is estimated to be around 20,000 credit cards from people who dined at the targeted restaurants. The credit card companies were immediately notified of the said bug in order for them to trace where the compromise is found.

Attacking credit card machines and POS systems is, of course, nothing new for criminals and thieves. Ever since credit cards were used for transactions at restaurants, there were already schemes and ways to “hack” or infect a specific credit card machine. First, they would call at the restaurant and introduce themselves as the company that manufactures their credit card machine and even the register. They would pretend that they have lost signal or connection with your POS machine. Then, they will ask the manager of the restaurant to give them the model name and serial number of the specific machine. Afterwards, they would tell the manager that the connection has been restored and they would even thank the manager for providing the info and helping them to troubleshoot the POS system.

Today, of course, it is very different. Calling in would require more time and work for the criminals. It also has the risk of being traced or being detected as fraud by the manager. Security protocols are already in place for these common schemes and it just might not work. Now, instead of making a call, the criminals would simply try to infect the main computer that handles all the business transactions for the day. When they hack the main computer, all the credit card information is at risk and even compromised.

The customer would just be surprised when he gets his bill a few months later to find unauthorized transactions ranging from $3 to $10,000 in just one day. These thieves don’t have any mercy at all.

To be safe when connecting online, you need to use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network provider. When you connect through a VPN, you are connecting through an encrypted tunnel of data wherein all your activities and transactions are kept privately and securely. Faceless.me is a great VPN for all your needs.