By now, every merchant is well aware that the point of sale system has evolved dramatically over the last few years. With the use of mobile device, chip readers and cloud technology, the cash register is not what it use to be and retailers are not the only ones that have noticed. Criminals are also paying attention.

A recent article from ARS Technica examined several recent POS hacks that have been more sophisticated than a common breach. The first one we have covered before, the malware known as Dexter which most recently struck a serious of South African fast food chains.

The other is one of the first known incidents of botnets being used to target a POS terminal. This event resulted in more than 20,000 payment cards since August being compromised as the botnet remained active on more than 31 machines at various restaurants and retailers. Any time a credit card was processed, that information was recorded and passed along to the criminals behind it. This information came from researchers at security intelligent provider IntelCrawler.

"The unique side of our case is that it is a real botnet with C&C functions, which is active close to half a year and controlled by a group of criminals which has a new type of Dexter," IntelCrawler CEO Andrey Komarov told the news source. "The infected POS merchants are installed in different places and cities… which makes it different as the bad actors infected them separately and then organized a botnet from it."

With the help of a payment provider that specializes in secure POS software and credit card processing, any merchant can improve their security processes.