When it comes to the cash register, criminals are always looking for ways to steal whatever is inside. More payments are being made with plastic, which means an increase is attempts to hack point of sale software solutions or compromise the physical card scanners with skimming devices to get customer information. Every merchant can be a target.
A recent article from SC Magazine covers a series of devices found in a Florida Nordstrom store. A group of six men removed the back plates of store registers and installed keystroke loggers over the course of several hours. Surveillance equipment captured the group, but there is no word on whether they were able to capture any sensitive information.
The devices used can be purchased online for $40 and a total of six were found attached to Nordstrom registers. Once placed, they track all credit card information processed through that system and store it on the device, similarly to a flash drive.
Brooke White, a spokeswoman for the retailer, acknowledged the devices.
"We can confirm that we found and removed unauthorized devices on a small number of cash registers at our Nordstrom Aventura, Florida store," White said. "We take this situation seriously and have been working closely with law enforcement and forensic experts to investigate this and understand any impact on our customers."
The article features an interview with Chris Hague, a security expert from Chicago-based Trustwave. He said that many criminals have been forced to become more Brazen over the years and these devices are just the next step.
"Retail merchants over the years have put in tremendous security to protect their devices from compromise," Hague said. "So the next step [for criminals] is physical compromise. The one thing about skimmers themselves, which makes it really difficult for organizations to detect, is they really have no electronic component coded in – it's just a pass through where the data stream will [run] through the device to get recorded."
Credit card processing is not as simple as it would seem and organizations need to be aware of that fact. Criminals are always looking for a loop hole and a proper software POS solution can help keep those closed and information safe.