“Backoff” Malware Program Causes Big Headache for Homeland Security

August 7, 2014, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Malware concept in word tag cloud on white background

A program intended to help consumers fight credit card fraud is causing a significant problem for the Department of Homeland Security.

Backoff is a malware program deployed to a store’s point-of-sale system through remote access applications. Remote access applications are programs that individuals can use to remotely access their computer information from their smartphones. Hackers are now targeting computers with these programs and using them as a gateway into a person’s computer. In the case of a retail store, this gateway leads hackers to stored sensitive information about credit card customers who have recently shopped at the store.

Approximately 600 retailers have now experienced some type of problem with Backoff. Many of these retailers are small brick and mortar shops. The malware has been giving off low to non-existent virus threats while it enters the systems for these stores, making it hard to track down.

In order to protect themselves from Backoff and similar malware programs, retailers must keep their antivirus programs as up to date as possible. Antivirus providers have been working to make their software more sensitive to the signals given off by these malware threats, so they may now be equipped to combat them.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 7, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.