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HOW TO AVOID GETTING HURT BY RAM SCRAPERS

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How To Avoid Getting Hurt By Ram Scrapers

‘RAM scraping’ has been implicated in one of the world’s largest data breaches.  So what does it involve, and how do businesses defend against it?  By Keith Bird, UK MD, Check Point

When we published our security predictions for 2014 in December, we said that ‘targeted malware campaigns … aimed at stealing either money or intellectual property’ would be one of the top 3 threats to business during the year.  However, we certainly did not expect this prediction to be realised quite so quickly, nor in such a high-profile fashion.  It’s estimated that the breaches at leading US retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus resulted in up to 110 million people having credit card or personal details stolen.

How To Avoid Getting Hurt By Ram Scrapers

How To Avoid Getting Hurt By Ram Scrapers

Investigations into these attacks have revealed that point-of-sale (POS) terminals at the retail chains had been infected with ‘RAM scraping’ tools, which enabled credit card data and other account information to be intercepted and stolen by the attackers.  While RAM scraping is not a new technique (it was first reported in 2008 by Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy), its use in these latest attacks has raised questions about the security of credit card transactions that don’t use EMV, and the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), which is intended to safeguard POS systems and protect customers’ card data in transit.

While PCI-DSS does offer strong security from the initial transaction, right through to when customer data is stored on retailers’ systems, it isn’t invulnerable.  There’s a very short period of time during a mag-stripe transaction when the customer’s credit card data – including the cardholder’s name, card number, expiry date, the three-digit security code – is available in plaintext format.  This is because payment processing systems work with unencrypted data, and it’s this window of opportunity that RAM scraping tools exploit.

A narrow scrape

When the card data is read by the POS terminal, it’s temporarily stored in random-access memory while the card is authorised and the transaction processed, before it is encrypted.  Similarly, when a back-end server starts processing the customer transaction, the data is temporarily decrypted in memory.  The data is visible only for a fraction of a second, but in that time the RAM scraper is able to do its work.  It is designed to activate whenever a transaction occurs, and to seek out credit card numbers from the RAM as soon as new data is loaded into it.  The data is then written silently copied  to a text file, and forwarded onto the attackers when a pre-determined number of records has been ‘scraped’ – saving the criminal the effort and trouble of having to decrypt the customer details.

It’s not yet clear which specific malware variants were used in these latest attacks, or how they were planted.  However, in early January 2014 the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an alert about RAM-scraping malware targeting POS systems, naming types of currently-active malware that is capable of searching memory dumps of specific POS software-related processes to find card data.

Infection vectors

So how were the criminals able to inject the RAM scrapers into the POS systems of these major retailers?  It’s currently believed that the hackers were able to obtain the login credentials belonging to a company that provides the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning services (HVAC) to the retailers.  The HVAC firm had access rights to the retailers’ network for tasks including remote monitoring of energy use and temperatures in stores.  Using these access rights, the attackers gained a foothold on the retailer’s network and could subsequently jump across to the company’s payment systems network.

Once the corporate network has been breached, it’s possible for attackers to transfer the malware over to the POS network and devices.  The POS networks are not isolated from other business networks – which makes them vulnerable.

POS protection

In terms of blocking future RAM-scraping exploits, or other attacks targeting POS systems, US-CERT recommends six best practices to the owners and operators of the systems:

  • Use strong passwords for POS systems, and always change them from the factory default setting
  • Update POS software applications, in exactly the same way that other business software should be updated and patched, to cut exposure to vulnerabilities
  • Install a firewall to protect POS systems and isolate them from other networks
  • Use antivirus software, and keep it fully updated
  • Restrict access to the Internet from POS system computers or terminals to prevent accidental exposure to security threats
  • Disable remote access to POS systems

Organisations should also consider additional counter-measures to add a further layer of protection against malware infections, which are the most common starting point for attacks.  It’s relatively easy for criminals to make small adjustments to malware code, which enables it to bypass current antivirus signature detection, which in turn leaving businesses vulnerable.  A security technique such as Check Point’s ThreatCloud Emulation makes it possible to identify and isolate malicious files before they enter the network, so that accidental infections do not occur.

In conclusion, RAM scraping is a threat that could target not just the retail sector, but any business area that involves processing volumes of customer payment cards, from leisure and hospitality through to finance and insurance.  So organisations that routinely use POS equipment should look carefully at their exposure to being scarred by RAM scrapers.

www.checkpoint.com

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How You Can Make Money From Home

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How You Can Make Money From Home 1

There is no secret to making money online, the only secret is your persistence. Hidden away between the tips on starting a wine club, taking up a photography club or joining the wine revolution, there are smart tips that anyone could use to earn money online without having to quit their day job. We have written lots about the many ways people abroad to help finance their lives.

A good place to start with online jobs is with paid surveys. Surveys pay for your time and allow you to earn a bit of extra cash. The reason you will be able to earn more than what you are actually worth is that a survey company will pay to send you their questionnaire so that you can answer it. The more accurate and detailed your answers the more likely you are to get paid.

There are many survey companies available, you need to choose wisely and carefully as some surveys are paid better than others. For example, you may get paid well if you give an opinion on the health of wine or food. You may get paid just as well if you offer an opinion on which type of music you like.

Another great way to make money online is to write articles. You could write an article and then sell it to an affiliate. If someone likes what they read you will get a commission.

If you are unable to write or if you do not have the time, you could hire someone to write for you. This could be someone who has experience in web content writing or a freelance writer. You could also sell your own articles on an affiliate website such as Clickbank or Commission Junction.

It is easy to make money, it can take some time but it is definitely possible. All you need is determination and discipline to keep at it.

Many people overseas have chosen to live off the grid lifestyle. There are many benefits to living this way and one of them is being able to make money from home.

There are also a lot of opportunities to make money doing research online, there is a constant increase in the amount of knowledge that is available to the public. It is much easier to research and discover new ways of earning money. and you can get started in a short space of time. So, I encourage you to give it a go.

One of the easiest ways to make money online is by becoming a blogger. It really is very easy to become a blogger. Just type ‘blogging’ into Google and then fill in all the details. It is easy and it can even start to look lucrative.

Blogging is a good way to earn money if you have an understanding of the basics. You need to write about something that interests you. This could be about your family life, your interests or even a hobby that you like.

Once you have set up a good website for your blog, the next step is to get visitors to it. One way of doing this is by putting up advertisements. This is just the same as writing articles for other websites.

Some people choose to make money by selling products. You can do this in two ways, through a site such as eBay or through affiliate marketing. You could sell e-books or products related to the niche you are blogging about. The great thing about eBay is that there is always a steady flow of visitors.

These two ways are only two of the many ways to make money online. I recommend you look at all the options and find the ones that work best for you. Once you have found them, you will never stop learning about ways to make money online.

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How To Avoid the Risks of Poor Credit

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How To Avoid the Risks of Poor Credit 2

Security Finance is an unsecured debt collecting agency that, via a network of affiliated companies, provides “secure” personal loans to consumers who may otherwise struggle to meet their existing debts. Their loans are generally short-term, and their conditions often vary dramatically from those of traditional short term personal loans. The services they provide can be invaluable to both the consumer and the lender.

Security finance offers a wide variety of loans. These include: home equity loans, revolving credit lines, commercial and business loans, car and motorcycle loans, and other types of unsecured loans. These loans can be used for almost any purpose, and they will be more beneficial to the consumer than those offered by banks and other unsecured lenders.

Secured personal loans offer an excellent alternative to the high rate of interest paid by unsecured loans. The interest rates are often less, the terms are easier to meet, and they are often better suited to meeting a consumer’s unique financial situation. The collateral provided with the loan usually allows security that the loan will be repaid in a reasonable amount of time, with little or no difficulty.

Secured loans require the debtor to place collateral, such as his or her car, home, or other valuable asset, in order to receive the money they have been borrowing, and are therefore considered by the debt collector as an attempt to recover something that has been taken. Debt collectors will not hesitate to call a borrower who does not follow the terms of his or her loan agreement and in some cases will go as far as harassing them, calling and/or sending letters in an attempt to collect on a debt.

When applying for a secured personal loan, many borrowers are worried that the debt will affect their credit score. The fact is that there is virtually no correlation between the amount of credit available and the credit score. However, secured loans will typically have a much lower credit score than unsecured loans. This is because the borrower is putting his or her assets in a bank account where they are likely to be liquidated for payment.

It is important to remember that the loan does not negatively affect the credit history. The only time it can result in damage to a credit report is if it is reported incorrectly. If a borrower were to try to pay off a loan on a credit card that was reported as being “lost”, he or she would then be making the error a second time.

Security finance offers consumers an exceptional opportunity for personal development through the use of online applications, and the ability to make several payments on the same day to avoid late fees and penalties. This service also makes it easy to avoid late fees when paying loans off at the end of the month.

The ability to apply for secured loans online provides a tremendous opportunity for the consumer to improve his or her credit score. Security loans can provide a large number of benefits to people who are in financial difficulty, including: low cost, low rate loans, low credit, and the flexibility of being able to make multiple payments.

If you are considering applying for a secured loan but have never applied online, you should take advantage of the opportunity to make several purchases in a short period of time, rather than waiting until the last minute to apply for an unsecured loan. By using the secured finance website, you can save yourself the time and stress associated with filling out an application and can ensure that your credit report shows your financial progress accurately.

Once you have applied for a secured loan, you should also make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your loan, including any interest rate that may apply to the loan. Be sure that you understand the term of the loan in full and fully. Do not hesitate to ask any questions that may arise. You should always contact the company directly when you feel that you are not fully clear on a matter regarding a loan.

Secured finance loans are a great way to increase your credit score while avoiding the hassle and expense of filling out and paying off an application by mail. Because the borrower is making a direct deposit of money into an account, the credit report that shows up on credit reports is often inaccurate.

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How To Find Free Rates On Money Exchange

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How To Find Free Rates On Money Exchange 3

Money is a common item that can be bought, traded, exchanged or sold. This usually includes the value of the currency as well as gold and silver. Money is commonly accepted as payment of certain obligations, including taxes, and payment of certain goods and services in a specific country or socioeconomic context.

There are three money systems in the world. The first is the use of coins or other units of currency, which are available in fixed denominations. The second is barter. It involves exchanging items of utility with other items of utility. In the third system, known as fiat money, there is no central authority that decides what the money supply is, and the monetary base is determined by political will.

The most common monetary system is the gold standard, which was used as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. In this system, coins were designed to be redeemable for gold bars. Gold, however, had a relatively high price at the time, and most individuals had no access to it. Barter is much more popular today, and most people live their lives in barter, trading items with one another.

In some nations, the second money system is called paper money. Most countries have national currencies, and each government issues money in the name of their country. This type of money is not backed by anything of physical value. It is not held by the government or bank. It is simply made from paper. Since most countries use this kind of money, it is known as the official “money” of the country.

Electronic cash was introduced in 1970. This system is very similar to barter. Instead of bartering for items, electronic money is created electronically. It is created electronically to represent actual objects that can be used as payment, and then is transferred to the buyer. The process is very similar to barter, except that there are no actual goods to be bartered for. It is considered a virtual currency.

There are many different types of money, and each one has its own characteristics. Money in the U.S. has a backing and is created by the federal reserve. Money in England is backed by the pound sterling, while the European Central Bank in Germany uses the euro. has a currency known as the Deutschmark.

Each form of money has its own advantages and disadvantages. People who use different forms of money have their own reasons for doing so. Many people choose to exchange one form of money for the other, to get the best rate on an item they need or want. Some choose the same form of money for more than one transaction.

Money exchange services offer different services to help people get the best rates on money exchange. They include a variety of methods that can help someone get a better rate. Rates vary depending on the length of time you wish to get money, the size of your order, and the current value of the item you are exchanging. Some of these services can also provide you with a credit card or other form of online payment to transfer your money through.

These services are available almost everywhere. You may call around to various companies for rates, or you can check out the Internet. There are several places on the Web that will give you free quotes, and compare rates among companies. It is important that you understand the rules and regulations that govern the rates you receive from these companies before you agree to any deal.

There are several different online providers. You will often find them listed under the names of a variety of different names, such as Money Exchange, Moneygram and eCash. If you are interested in getting quotes from multiple companies, make sure to ask around for quotes from at least three. so that you have a clear picture of how much the rates will vary and from which company to go with.

Many places will offer you a variety of free quotes if you fill out a form. Others will charge a fee for this service. To get an estimate, you should send out several free quotes. and then make sure to follow up with the companies.

To be able to get the best rates, it is very important that you get as many quotes as possible from different companies on the Internet. There are many sites that you can go to. Some will charge a fee to get these quotes.

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