Further investigation into Forever 21’s November breach has revealed that encryption was not turned on at some of the point of sale (POS) systems in Forever 21 stores.

Last November Forever 21 confirmed hackers had unauthorized network access to customer card data using information stealing malware designed to search for payment card data.

In an update to November revelations, the retailer claims “The malware searched only for track data read from a payment card as it was being routed through the POS device. In most instances, the malware only found track data that did not have cardholder name, only card number, expiration date, and internal verification code, but occasionally the cardholder name was found.”

To make matters even worse, encryption was turned off at some stores for over seven months – from April 3 to November 18, 2017.

The update continued, “Additionally, Forever 21 stores have a device that keeps a log of completed payment card transaction authorizations. When encryption was off, payment card data was being stored in this log. In a group of stores that were involved in this incident, malware was installed on the log devices that was capable of finding payment card data from the logs, so if encryption was off on a POS device prior to April 3, 2017, and that data was still present in the log file at one of these stores, the malware could have found that data.

The retailer claims customers using their online platform were not impacted by this breach, but they are still working to confirm if any stores outside of the US were impacted. With stores in over 50 countries across the globe the scope of this breach could be huge. However, hackers usually favor the US as chip and pin adoption has been slow to really take off there, making it much easier for criminals to steal card and clone cards.

Year after year POS systems have proven to be easy targets for cyber criminals, but these systems are simply too sensitive to operate without defense measures implemented. Most importantly, organizations dealing with payment transactions must adhere to the PCI DSS compliance standard. NNT makes achieving, proving, and remaining compliant a breeze by combining System Hardening & Vulnerability Management, Event Log Management, Change & Configuration Management, and FIM into one easy to use solution.


Learn how NNT Addresses PCI V3.2 Compliance Requirements

Requirement 1 & 2: Build and Maintain a Secure Network & Systems

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 1: 
1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data

Use NNT Change Tracker to apply a configuration baseline – NNT provide CIS Benchmark Checklists to ensure the most secure and effective configuration settings are used for firewalls.

Apply File Integrity Monitoring to firewall rules and other security configuration settings for tight change management, plus collect logs from firewalls to detect security incidents in advance of any breach

Requirement 2:
2.1, 2.2, 2.3

Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters

Prebuilt device hardening templates derived from CIS Benchmarks are used to audit for any vulnerabilities present: database systems, servers, and network devices are then continuously monitored for any drift from the desired, hardened state

Note: CIS Benchmarks are the primary recommended source of hardening checklists and NNT Change Tracker is one of only a select few CIS Certified Vendors see http://www.newnettechnologies.com/cis-benchmark.html

Requirment 3 & 4: Protect Cardholder Data

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 3: 
3.5, 3.6

Protect stored cardholder data

File Integrity Monitoring technology ensures access to Cryptographic Keys is restricted, and any attempted unauthorized access is logged and alerted, including changes of accounts, privileges, and permissions

Requirement 4: 

Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

Use Device Vulnerability Reports to pre-audit for the use of non-encrypted console access methods being enabled, thereafter monitor for any configuration change affecting the devices' hardened state

Requirement 5 & 6: Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 5:

Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs

NNT Change Tracker will check that AV services are activated and running, Log Tracker will alert on all significant AV events

Requirement 6: 
6.1, 6.4

Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Change Tracker will maintain host and application security settings, even for bespoke applications, and record all software and patch updates. Log Tracker will provide a complete audit trail of application and host access attempts.

Requirement 7 & 8: Implement Strong Access Control Measures

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 7: 
7.1, 7.2

Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know

At all times, NNT Log Tracker will provide a 'checks and balances' audit trail of all account and privilege changes

Requirement 8:
8.1, 8.2, 8.5,

Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access

Initial hardening audit will verify correct password and authentication policies are in use, with all subsequent account and privilege changes audited

Requirement 10 & 11: Regularly Monitor and Test Networks

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 10: 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7

Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data

Audit trails are constructed automatically using predefined Log Tracker templates for PCI DSS V3.1, including default alerts for security threats

Requirement 11: 11.1, 11.4, 11.5

Regularly test security systems and processes

File Integrity Monitoring across all platforms and devices is an essential defense against malware and any 'inside man' threat to card and customer data - built-in templates for PCI DSS V3.1 are provided and can be customised, leveraging CIS Benchmark checklists to highlight system vulnerabilities. NNT Change Tracker shows 'who made the change' with continuous and real-time detection of any changes

Requirement 12: Maintain an Information Security Policy

PCI DSS 3.2 Requirement NNT Solution

Requirement 12: 12.2, 12.3, 12.5, 12.9

Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personel

Security Management procedures can be automated and audited using built-in intelligent alerting and reporting


Read the article on InfoSecurity Magazine

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