If you are venturing into a retailer this Christmas season, The Grinch may have beaten you to it. Cyber Grinches to be more accurate. Let me explain…
Back in December, 2012, Israeli firm Seculert discovered “DEXTER“, which was then written about in an Ars Technica article. DEXTER is an especially sneaky piece of Malware that attacks POS (Point Of Sale) terminals of retailers.
Fast forward to Christmas 2013. Researchers at IntelCrawler noticed that Cyber Hooligans have enhanced their dastardly deeds by effectively creating a Dexter 2.0, which has also popped up on the radar at Arbor Networks, and additionally written about at PCWorld magazine.
Ah yes, Dexter is all grown up now. Mainly known as STARDUST, the descendants of Dexter actually have 3 versions: Stardust, Millennium, and Revelation, effectively creating a “botnet” of POS terminals, so far 20,000 credit cards may have been compromised, and all manner of havoc ensues, as merchants are completely unaware until the fraud is reported.
When your plastic comes out of your pocket to make a transaction, the hackers want a piece of the pie as well.
So, you ask, what can you do to protect yourself? Nothing proactive unfortunately. Closely monitor your credit card statements. If you bank online, keep a sharp eye out for anything that doesn’t look right, and report it to your bank immediately.
I want you all to have a fantastic Christmas, but be aware there is a known issue out there. Be vigilant.