Walmart Cyber Security Attack
Certain documents relating to a wave of 2005-2006 cyber attacks on Wal-Mart—the United States' largest retailer—has just been released.
It shows that the company is among the
earliest targets of hackers who were specifically after the bank-card-processing systems of brick-and-mortar stores way back in 2005.
The information about the system exploit as well as Wal-Mart's difficulties in reconstructing these past events has shed some new light on the exposed condition of retail security at the time despite the placement of payment-processing regulations since the beginning of the decade.
A twenty-eight-year-old Miami resident by the name of Albert Gonzalez pleaded guilty this October to carrying out many of these intrusions as well as facing unsettled indictments for the remaining cases.
Wal Mart compromised and breached in November 2006
All the same, after many months of undetected break-ins since 2005, the Wal-Mart breach really started unraveling on November 5, 2006, after the retail giant's IT security department was brought in to investigate a suspicious server crash.
The dubiousness of the crash rooted from the fact that someone had installed L0phtrack (a password-cracking program) onto the system itself, which made the incident anything but a routine event.
In fact, it was the intruders' attempts at launching the program that caused the crash in the first place.
According to the documents, during the time that the server crashed, the hacker was able to connect to the retailer's network for seven hours straight from an IP address originating in Minsk.