There is a report that over the holidays several retailers disabled the EMV (Chip and Pin) functionality of their card readers. The reason for this? They did not want to deal with the extra time it takes for a transaction. With a standard card swipe (mag-swipe) you are ready to put in your pin and pay in about three seconds. With EMV this is extended to roughly 10 seconds. Of course when you add in all of the other items that retailers throw in (are you are rewards member?) your checkout time can be lengthened quite a bit.
Just when you thought it was safe to use your credit card we are hearing rumblings of a breach at Hilton. According to Brian Kerbs and some of our own sources a payment card breach has taken place and the only unique feature about this was that all of the affected cards were used at a Hilton Property. This is not just the regular Hilton Logo properties, but also includes Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn and Suites, Waldorf Astoria Hates and Resorts, and potentially others. The exact timing of the breach is unclear at the moment, but could go as far back as November 2014.
Former Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo was arrested in Seattle on charges that he is guilty of leaking the various versions of Windows to public before their official publication. During the development of Windows 7 and 8 it was fairly common for screenshots or portions of the source code to leak to the Internet , and often they even appeared as a complete copies of the operating system along with the activation key. One of the culprits for this is the aforementioned Kibkalo.
Smartphone and digital device theft is a pretty big deal according to many statistics out there. It is a pretty easy crime when you think about it: grab someone’s phone and run. Even if they wipe all their personal data you can always sell the phone to someone that can reactivate it. There have been many suggestions for how to combat this type of crime, some more effective than others. However, the one that now seems to be rearing its ugly head more frequently is the concept of a kill-switch embedded into all smartphones that would allow a device to be permanently disabled by remote command and all personal data wiped.
Inputs.io service that offers users online Bitcoin wallet service was compromised on 23rd and again on 26th October. Unknown hackers on that occasion stolen 4100 Bitcoins, which have a value of at least $1.2 million. The owner of the attacked website, known only by the nickname TradeFortess, gave this information to users this week, noting that the attack affected only specific users .
There is an interesting movement going on right now that has both good and bad consequences if it is brought to life. We are talking about the push by some law makers to put “kill switches” into cellphones. The thought behind this is that a would-be thief might think twice if he knew that a phone could be turned off rapidly just like a credit card. The Movement is called “Secure our Smartphones” and while they appear to have their hearts in the right place, there is something not quite right in what they are proposing. Sadly whenever we see such a big push to disable or control products and devices there comes with it a concern about abuse.
63 largest U.S. Barnes & Noble bookstores are affected by serious safety problems. Criminals compromised Barnes & Noble POS (Point of Sale) devices and took data from credit and debit cards complete with PIN numbers for those debit cards. In each of the affected stores was found one compromised POS device. Barnes and Noble have more than 700 stores across the U.S. and more than 600 stores for students and professors so this problem is very serious.
Ok this one goes in the books for being really foolish of Google. Remember how we told you that cutting corners in the coding of Google Wallet allowed a crafty hacker to read the binary data and get your PIN? Well today there is even worse news about the mobile payment application. The new flaw is almost a basic flaw in the OS as well as an application flaw. What’s worse is that this is so simple it does not even count as a hack… and you do not have to have a rooted phone to pull this off.