In December 2019, it was reported that hackers had attacked Wawa, an East Coast-base and gas station, and exposed a bunch of credit card info of customers. This incident has unraveled many stories including customers threatening to sue the company for failing to protect their payment card details.
According to the latest report, the Joker Stash, a popular marketplace known for uploading and selling credit card info, has been said to have uploaded millions of card details including the ones exposed in the Wawa data breach.
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The Joker Stash earlier advertised their next upload on the platform claiming the database would include about 30 million records from 40 states as well as over 1 million records of none the US credit card info across 100 countries. Just as it was announced, the Joker Stash began uploading the records on 27 January 2020. The breach which was dubbed “BIGBADABOOM – III” was uploaded on four separate bases. The record includes the geolocation. Contrary to the announcement, only 6 states were actually affected instead of the 40 states as previously announced.
The researchers revealed that the records are being sold for an average amount of $17 for US credit card info while the international records go for as high as $210. According to the report, financial institutions spread across the east coast had the highest exposure apart from the banks within the country.
The initial set of bases uploaded was around 100,000 records. This was largely linked to US bank-issued cards. The majority of the affected victims were US cardholders. Other victims were cardholders from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The analysis revealed how the none US cardholders got affected by the breach. According to the report, the affected individuals traveled into the country and used their cards to make transactions with the Wawa gas station.
It all started when Wawa discovered malware in its payment processing servers on December 10, 2019. According to the report, the malware was quickly removed, however, the harm had already been done. Wawa admitted that the breach affected almost all their 850 physical stores across the country.
How the incident happened has not been released. However, it is likely that the breach followed a similar strategy used by hackers to install malware on target computes. They mostly send an email containing malicious link or attachment to the weakest link of the cybersecurity chain of a company and convince them to click on the link or download the malicious attachment. Ones this is done, the malware gets installed on their server and starts stealing credit card info of customers. With the kind of data exposed in the breach, the company has admitted that credit card numbers, debit card numbers, cardholder names, and expiration dates were exposed.
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The Wawa ATMs were not affected by the breach. However, the gas pump may have been affected. Credit Card CVV2 numbers and driver’s license information were not affected by the data breach according to the report.
It was earlier reported that the Joker Stash has expanded its infrastructure to accommodate a larger volume of stolen credit cards for sale. They have been linked to the sales of millions of cards stolen from popular companies in 2019.
According to the report, the previous credit card breach dubbed “BIGBADABOOM – II” affected a number of companies including the Lord and Taylor and Saks Fifth Ave. It was stated that this kind of credit cards usually have a low demand on the dark web markets probably because of the early identification by researchers and the release of statements by the Merchants. However, the Joker Stash uses the media coverage of their uploads to prove their credibility.
In another report, the Wawa customers have filed a lawsuit against the company, though the company has issued apologies to the customers. According to the customers, the company was negligent in its measures to protect their credit card info. The customers feel that Wawa did not treat their credit card info with the needed protection. This has caused inconveniences as they are now spending time to close out and open new credit card and debit card accounts, order a card replacement, monitor credit report and account, resolve the loss of access to cash flow and credit lines, and also obtain fraud monitoring service.
Wawa and any other company that takes care of a bunch of customers’ credit card info must take proactive measures to prevent future attacks. This can mostly be done by educating staff on phishing emails and other strategies commonly used by hackers to launch an attack. Companies must also invest in cybersecurity and update the existing ones to match the attack of hackers.
Source: Gemini Advisory
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