The massive hacking of Target credit cards may have been the work of malware created by a 17-year-old Russian, according to a statement by IntelCrawler, a Los Angeles–based cyber-intelligence company.
The Target attack affected some 70 million customers, making it possibly the largest such attack in retail history.
The teen’s software may have been involved in the recent attack at Neiman Marcus and possibly the systems of other retailers, the IntelCrawler said. Neiman Marcus has declined to comment on whether the two incidents are related.
“New breaches [may] appear very soon, retailers and the security community should be prepared for them,” said Andrew Komarov, IntelCrawler CEO, in the statement.
Another report in the Times called Target’s systems “astonishingly open” and a “cyber-criminal’s dream.”
“Target had no clue until the Secret Service alerted the company about two weeks before Christmas,” the report added, noting the possible damage done to banks and retailers may top $18 billion.
Security firm iSIGHT Partners advises any company that believes it has been compromised to contact the U.S. Secret Service Field Office/Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) at 877-242-3375.