Target hackers have more data to sell as demand wanes
Those who stole the data appear to be keeping a low profile on underground forums
IDG News Service - What's the downside to successfully stealing 40 million credit card numbers from Target? Trying to sell the data.
There's a thriving economy among cybercriminals, some of whom specialize in stealing credit card numbers to others who figure out a way to profit. But it's also constrained by supply and demand.
Too many card numbers on the market inevitably drives the price of a set of details down. Card information, referred to in underground forums as "dumps," are often priced according to how recently the details were stolen, its likely spending limit and whether the hackers have captured a PIN for the card.
Prices can range from a few dollars up to $100. Cybercriminals often advertise the kind of data they've captured from the card's magnetic stripe, which has three so-called "tracks," each containing data.
"Track 1" data contains a card number, the victim's name and the card's expiration data, and Track 2 data contains the card number and expiration data. The third track is rarely used.
"You can imagine that having a lot of stolen credit cards will not net the hackers, say $35 per card for all 40 million," said Alex Holden, who runs a cybercrime consultancy, Hold Security. "Even if the hackers are willing to sell cards for $1 a card, no one will buy the stolen goods in these amounts."
Target said attackers likely intercepted 40 million debit and credit card numbers between Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, 2013, one of the busiest shopping periods in the U.S. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in an interview with CNBC on Sunday that malware was discovered on point-of-sale terminals.
How those terminals were infected is still a mystery. Computer security experts are keeping a close eye on underground forums where the data is traded, looking for clues as to who may be responsible.
So far, they haven't seen much.
"We have seen some comments by other hackers that would suggest that there was no sound exist strategy by the thieves," Holden said. "Right now, they are maybe laying low knowing that everyone is looking for them."
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts