2019 Attack Predictions for the Payment Sector

2019 Attack Predictions for the Payment Sector

January 10, 2019 | Anomali Labs


Anomali Labs published this week a report, “Cyber Crime in the Payments Industry,” that examines threat trends affecting this sector. The report, available for download, details attacks and techniques, and provides recommendations for organizations that process credit card transactions.


The payments industry, including retail, hospitality, restaurants and payment processors, has long been a target for fraud and cybercrime. For malicious actors the attraction is obvious as successful attacks can produce significant rewards. One recent ATM Cash-Out scheme involved cloning of 450 cards within a 24-hour period and withdrawal of over $11.5 million across 28 countries. The Magecart cybercrime group leveraged vulnerabilities in web forms on merchant websites. These undetected breaches allowed credit card payment information to be collected from unsuspecting clients for months.


In recent years payment processors have adopted EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa), a credit card payment processing standard that leverages an embedded chip to enable encrypted transactions and facilitate secure storage. This advance in payment security has pushed cybercriminals to find other soft targets - specifically a move away from brick-and-mortar retailers, where customers must have physical possession of the card to online and e-commers merchants where Card Not Present (CNP) transactions take place. Visa Threat Intelligence estimates that over 60% of reported breaches worldwide now involve smaller merchants.


The Cyber Crime in the Payments Sector report from Anomali Labs explores these trends and threats and provides a strategic outlook for the sector and recommendations for protecting organizations.

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