How the Target hackers did it
Hackers responsible for carrying out a massive theft of credit and debit card information from the retailer Target likely used sophisticated variations of tools that have been circulating in the computer underground for a long time, according to report prepared by cyber security firm iSight Partners and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The report explained that malware aimed at "point of sale" or POS machines, is sold in black markets and is generally well-known to law enforcement. The popularity of the software, iSight said, may lead to a demand for more custom-made attack tools. In July of 2013 in one marketplace for freelance hackers — think of it as a Craigslist for criminals — as many as 20 percent of the ads were for the creation of POS malware.
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—By Arik Hesseldahl, recode.net.
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