Hackers accessed Goodwill hosting provider for 18 months before card breach

C&K Systems, which provided payment technology to Goodwill, said two other unnamed businesses were also affected

Hackers evaded security systems for a year-and-a-half at a hosting center that processed payment cards for Goodwill Industries, using the same type of malware that struck Target and other major retailers to steal card data, according to the charity's software vendor.

In its first public statement since being identified by Goodwill as its technology partner, C&K Systems of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, said two other customers were also affected by the unauthorized access, though it didn't name them.

Goodwill, which sells donated clothing, said in July that federal authorities were investigating a possible payment card breach at its U.S. outlets. It's one of many retailers, including Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Sally Beauty, that have disclosed data breaches since December.

In a rare move, Goodwill identified C&K as one of the contractors that provided payment processing for 20 of its stores, and said those stores had since stopped using the company's services.

C&K couldn't be immediately reached by phone Tuesday. According to its statement, the company's managed services environment was breached "intermittently" between Feb. 10, 2013, and Aug. 14 of this year. Of the "many" payment cards that may have been compromised, it said, it knows of "less than 25" so far that have been used fraudulently.

The hosted systems were running software from "a leading POS [point-of-sale] vendor" that C&K said met the Payment Card Industry's Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Retailers are required to meet those standards or face greater penalties from card companies if a breach occurs.

An independent auditor determined that the card data was stolen using a malicious software program, RawPOS, which scrapes data from a point-of-sale terminal's memory. A similar type of malware, known as a RAM scraper, was blamed for the Target breach and others.

C&K said its security software had been unable to detect the RawPOS variant until Sept. 5. C&K has since put in place new security controls that will detect unauthorized access, it said, "along with cutting-edge technologies to identify potential zero-day advanced persistent threats."

Its unidentified POS vendor is also shoring up its systems, by rolling out a point-to-point encryption system, C&K said. Security experts have said that technology can defeat RAM scrapers since only encrypted data is held in RAM.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags C&K Systemssecuritydata breachGoodwill Industriesmalware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?