The Cybercrime Industry and POS Attacks: March #SecChat

Last week, we released the McAfee Labs Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2013. In this report, we discussed several recent point-of-sale (POS) attacks and the increasingly available means by which cybercriminals are able to execute them. Namely: off-the-shelf point of sale (POS) malware, online black markets for stolen credit card data, and anonymous virtual currencies like Bitcoin.  These and other elements of an increasingly robust cybercriminal ecosystem are enabling thieves to do their dirty work faster and more easily than ever.

During the last few years, there has been a notable increase in the malware families BlackPOS, POSCardStealer, Dexter, Alina, vSkimmer, ProjectHook, and others — many of which are available for purchase online. In addition, online black marketplaces for stolen credit card data are thriving.

In our March #SecChat, we’ll discuss the numerous headline-grabbing credit card data breaches that have recently come to light and the ways that the cybercrime ecosystem helps facilitate these attacks. And, of course, we’ll look at what businesses can do to help protect against cybercriminals aiming to steal their customer data through advanced malware.

Our questions will range from how enterprise security professionals can defend against pre-packaged POS malware (and variations of these off-the-shelf packages that have been purchased and altered for custom attacks), to how the emergence of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin have fueled the proliferation of commercial cybercrime. We’ll also debate the benefits and downsides to EMV smart cards (aka “chip and PIN”), as well as examining POS hardware issues at play in these attacks.

If you’re a security aficionado interested in any of the above, please join us on March 27th at 11am PT for an hour-long Twitter chat where we will discuss the ways that the growing cybercrime industry has played a role in enabling and monetizing the results of POS attacks. We’ll be joined by Jim Walter, manager of the McAfee Threat Intelligence Service (MTIS) in the Office of the CTO, who penned an analysis of the Target POS malware and continues to research the ways in which these recent POS attacks were executed.

To join our March #SecChat, please follow the steps below:

  • Sign into your Twitter account at
  • Search for the #SecChat hashtag (using Twitter, or a Twitter client like and watch the real-time stream.
  • Follow @McAfeeBusiness. We’ll get the conversation started by posing a few questions to participants.
  • Tweet your reactions, questions, and replies to the chat, making sure to tag all your tweets with the #SecChat hashtag along the way!
  • If you have any questions prior to the chat, please tweet to @McAfeeBusiness.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars, RSVP to our Twtvite, and make sure you check out the full list of findings from McAfee Labs Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2013. We look forward to seeing you in the stream!

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