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US Homeland Security warns Retail stores of ‘Backoff’ malware

The Homeland Security Department officials announced on Friday that chances are approximately 1000 retailers in the United States are infected with malicious software. According to the reports, the Homeland Security Department suspects that the retailers in US have already been marked by various malicious softwares with the purpose of inflicting harm in either money matters or social terms. The Government has already ordered the retailers irrespective of their sizes to scan their systems for anything suspicious. The software will basically target the point-of-sale systems to keep a hold on the money related information.backoff-malware-retail-pos

It was earlier this month when the United Parcel Service (UPS) found out that there exists infected computers in more that 50 retail stores in he United Sates. Although, there has not been any report made about some kind of fraud or something similar, but the UPS fears that the hackers might already possess the critical data about the customers like name, address, billing information, etc.. The Government fears that the ‘Backoff’ is malicious software that has infected the stores. Although ‘Backoff’ was discovered in October last Year, it was not until the last month when the anti-viruses started tracking it.

According to Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, a cybersecurity software firm has stated that ‘Backoff’ is nothing special. It actually follows the age-old tradition of Cyber Crimes where the hackers look for a loose and unprotected end and use it to creep into major networks. The only reason the malicious software has been able to stay low for such long is due to the selective and intelligent use by the hackers.

This isn’t the first case where the retailers have been attacked. The battle has been raging for quite some time now and the United States government has not been able to find a plausible solution to the malicious software.


Earlier in July, the advisory was issued by US Secret Service and DHS that stated the use of scanning tools by hackers to infiltrate businesses that use remote applications. The malware has been detected three times since 2013 and exists even today. The U.S Computer Emergency Team mentioned that “Backoff” mostly goes undetected with low to zero detection rates in anti-virus applications. DHS investigations noted that three retailers have been infected with the “Backoff” malware.

The POS malware has the four common capabilities that track data, keystroke logging, Command and Control server communication and infecting of explorer.exe files. Hackers will be able to steal credit card information after infiltrating the remote networks and would eventually reach the cyber criminals after the data is sent through the C&C center. Recently a major attack at Target retail store was caused by a POS malware.

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About Wayne Murphy

Writer and specialized in Mobile Phones (iOS, Android, BB etc), who was with the TND team since it's inception. Other than Blogging, he is also pursuing his graduation on Business Management at CA, California University. All posts by Wayne

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