July 7, 2015

Visa® Warns of New Malware Threats

Visa® Warns of New Malware Threats

Visa® recently sent out a security alert to inform merchants of an increase in malware attacks targeting point-of-sale (POS) integrators. We encourage our merchant customers to take note of the following information, and to review the Visa security alert and pass it along to the appropriate departments or individuals.

What Is a POS Integrator?
A POS integrator is a company that uses remote connections to manage the POS software and hardware used by merchants. This includes both POS system solutions and property management system (PMS) solutions. As Visa’s security alert explains, POS integrators resell, install, configure, and maintain this software and hardware, and may also provide IT support and ongoing maintenance using remote connections. If you’re using a third-party vendor to supply remote desktop access, then you will want to take action to minimize your risk.

Keep Your Eye Out for Suspicious Emails
Malware attachments are showing up in emails disguised to look like they’re from LogMeIn, a cloud-based solutions company that provides remote access services. Like most malware attacks, these emails typically contain a link or attachment that, when activated, disables your anti-virus software and creates a channel into your POS or PMS in an attempt to steal your customers’ payment card information. If you regularly receive emails from LogMeIn, make sure you’re extra careful before opening them. There are some recurring pieces of content in these phishing attempts, so watch out for emails from LogMeIn, especially those referring to the following:

  • Automatic payment failure or credit card rejection
  • Subscription expiration
  • New security update or certificate

If you’ve received a questionable email from LogMeIn and are uncertain whether or not it may contain malware, contact LogMeIn customer support at 1.866.478.1805.

Increase in Targets of POS Integrators
Visa’s security alert says that these new phishing scams discovered by LogMeIn point to a larger campaign involving hackers targeting remote access applications in general. Therefore, it is important to make sure that any third-party application you use is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and to also share basic precautions with your employees about how to prevent becoming a target.

Tips to Prevent Malware
Visa suggested several ways merchants can protect their environment against becoming a victim of these malware threats. Whenever possible, you should:

  • Avoid single-factor authentication. Quick logins are appealing because of their convenience, but they can provide an easy “cyber-lock” to pick.
  • Reduce the connection time of always-online and remote access services when not in use. Log out from your connected systems when they are not in use to cut down the amount of time your information may be exposed to hackers.
  • Update your software. Make sure your programs are running the latest version, so that any patches that provide protection against new malware families are included.
  • Configure your firewall. Restrict access to your POS or PMS so that only known IP addresses can access it.
  • Avoid common usernames and passwords. Make your login credentials tricky and nearly impossible to guess. Also, don’t use the same password on multiple accounts. The convenience of having the same password for everything is not worth the hassle of being compromised.

Shift4 Helps to Render Malware Useless
Don’t leave anything behind for hackers to steal. With Shift4’s full suite of security solutions properly implemented, including True P2PE™ and TrueTokenization®, sensitive payment card data never enters your environment. This leaves no payment data in your environment to be stolen and used by hackers, even if malware were to enter your POS or PMS. And, with 4Go®, i4Go®, 4Res®, and 4Word®, you’ll have a much higher level of security when you process transactions on traditional, e-commerce, and even mobile points of sale. Our goal is to keep you one step ahead of those who want your customers’ card data. After all: They Can’t Steal What You Don’t Have®.