Browse Definitions:
Definition

POS malware (point-of-sale malware)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Point-of-sale malware (POS malware) is malicious software expressly written to steal customer payment data -- especially credit card data -- from retail checkout systems. Criminals often purchase POS malware to steal customer data from a retail organization with the intention of selling the data rather than using it directly.

There two ways to target a store's customer credit card data: The attacker can infiltrate databases where the data is stored or intercept the data at the point of sale (POS). While there are physical methods that can be used to steal data at these points, those methods require access to the point-of-sale equipment and generally expensive hardware as well. One such method uses an additional reader attached to the store’s card reader.  The second device reads and stores track two card data for the swipe payment. Track two magnetic stripe data includes the primary card number and security code, as well as other information such as what types of charges are permitted.

POS malware is a much simpler and less risky way of obtaining that data without ever setting foot on the premises. POS malware is a type of memory scraper that hunts for data in the correct format for track 2 credit card data. This data is only available unencrypted in memory very briefly. However, memory scraping malware is designed to gather it instantly when it is detected. The credit card info is then sent to the attacker’s remote computers, to be subsequently sold on underground sites.

Some examples of POS malware include Chewbacca, Backoff, BlackPOS and Kaptoxa.

This was last updated in January 2015

Continue Reading About POS malware (point-of-sale malware)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close