Since the Target breach first reared its ugly head back in December of last year, US banks have been forced to reissue around 15.3 million new credit cards to offset the risk and avoid exposure to any damages their customers may have been subjected to in the record-setting heist.
As of this writing, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder has refused to comment on what her company expects to do about the situation, or how much they plan to reimburse banks for a problem that was clearly their fault to begin with.
Snyder assured reporters that no customers would be held responsible for paying back any money lost due to fraudulent activity on their accounts, and that no matter what the end result of the ongoing investigation, Target would be working closely with affected financial institutions to see that everything is returned to normal by the end of this year.
So far the replacement costs of all these pieces of plastic is inching toward the $155 million mark, and that’s just the raw cost of materials and distribution without the true number of lost dollars from compromised accounts being factored into the total figure.
All this news comes just as a new credit card slurping botnet, dubbed ChewBacca, was discovered on POS systems around the globe by independent teams from RSA and Kaspersky. Capable of stealing sensitive data through keyloggers and memory scrubbers, ChewBacca functions in much the same way that the original spyware BlackPOS chose to target its victims, hoarding data for weeks or months at a time before finally logging off with the haul.
Whether this malware is related to the first bit of code dreamed up by Russian cyberfugitive Segey Taraspov remains to be seen, however we can assume that even if the programs aren’t specifically linked, the criminal organizations that depend on them for cash flow likely run in tightly linked circles together.
Neither security teams could tell us exactly how ChewBacca was able to get onto the systems it infected and spread accordingly, but they could tell us that as of right now the only countries that appear to be affected by the bug are Russia, Canada, the US, and Australia. If you don’t fall under any of those jurisdictions, for now you can consider yourself safe from one of the most fearless characters in the Star Wars universe and his army of digital Wookie bandits.