updated 12:20 pm EDT, Sat August 23, 2014
'Backoff' malware has infected 1,000 businesses across US
Target isn't the only US retailer affected by the "Backoff" point of sale malware. Following forensic analysis of the intrusion software, researchers for US government law enforcement have claimed that more than 1,000 businesses have been infected by the same strain that assaulted the big-box retailer, and now UPS storefronts.
Over the past year, the Secret Service has responded to network intrusions at numerous businesses throughout the United States that have been impacted by the "Backoff" malware. In the course of the investigation, the Secret Service identified seven point-of-sale system providers that have had multiple clients affected. Investigation continues on additional compromised locations, involving private sector entities of all sizes.
Target knew of its 2013 "Black Friday" data breach much earlier than it said it did. The company was alerted by security firm FireEye that there was a potential problem as early as November 30, but no action was taken. Additionally, auditors discovered that Target had disabled features of its security suite that could have removed the infection, prior to it purloining millions of sets of customer's payment method data.
In a related development, the UPS Store reports that customers' information could have been exposed by the same malware. This includes names, physical addresses, email address and credit and debit card information -- nearly identical to the earlier Target breach.
The Secret Service is contacting impacted businesses as they are identified, and continues to work with and support those businesses that have been impacted by this particular strain of malware. Companies that believe they have been the victim of this malware should contact the local Secret Service field office for assistance.