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


Read the article on InfoSecurity Magazine

The Most Powerful & Reliable Cybersecurity Products
Contact Us

USA Offices

New Net Technologies LLC
4850 Tamiami Trail, Suite 301
Naples, Florida, 34103

New Net Technologies LLC
1175 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, Georgia, 30361.

Tel: (844) 898-8358
[email protected]


UK Office

New Net Technologies Ltd
The Russell Building, West Common
Harpenden, Hertfordshire

Tel: 020 3917 4995
 [email protected]

SC Magazine Cybersecurity 500 CSGEA Winners 2021 CIS benchmarking SEWP Sans Institute Now Certified IBM Security
Copyright 2021, New Net Technologies LLC. All rights reserved. 
NNT and Change Tracker are registered trademarks of New Net Technologies LLC.
All other product, company names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.