The Department of Homeland Security has advised retailers to check their POS systems for a malicious hacking software called Backoff.
The software allows hackers to collect credit card payment data from cash register systems.
The program was first discovered in August 2013 but has not been detectable by antivirus software until now. The Secret Service estimates that 1,000 businesses may be affected.
“Over the past year, the Secret Service has responded to network intrusions at numerous businesses throughout the United States that have been impacted by the Backoff malware,” said the statement from the Department of Homeland Security. “Seven POS system providers/vendors have confirmed that they have had multiple clients affected.”
The New York Times reports that UPS Stores and Supervalu have stepped forward to report that their systems were compromised.
Retailers are encouraged to contact their antivirus and cash register system vendors to assess their exposure. If you believe your company has been the victim of this malware, you are asked to contact your local Secret Service field office.