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August 29, 2014

Here are the selections Tech Talk Editors George Milner and Teri Wesley have collected from this week's tech news:
  • Big banks hit by hackers
  • Meeting of the minds
  • Backoff malware advisory
  • Skinny skimmers
  • ATM fraud gang foiled
  • Small banks need tech too
  • Mobile banking is a snap
  • Invalid app coding
  • Self-service CUs
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches and Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
Big banks hit by hackers
Consumer and employee data has been compromised in a cyber attack that reportedly targeted JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least four other major U.S. banks. Russian hackers are believed to be behind the sophisticated assault earlier this month that has resulted in the loss of gigabytes of data, including customer checking and savings account information, reports The New York Times. The investigation into the attack is ongoing.

Meeting of the minds
In what may be a timely endeavor, a meeting of the minds between banks and government officials is being planned next month to collaborate on defensive measures against cyber attacks targeting the financial system. Specific details and who will be participating in the meeting, which is being organized by The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) trade group, have not yet been released. Reuters has the details.

Backoff malware advisory
Since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its advisory of the Backoff POS (point-of-sale) malware at the end of July, more than 1,000 businesses have been hit. DHS and the Secret Service recently issued another warning recommending that businesses take proactive measures against this nefarious threat. While POS systems have been its primary target, Backoff's keylogging functionality provides the opportunity for criminals to retrieve PINs from debit card transactions that can be used to create and use counterfeit cards at ATMs. The PCI Security Standards Council has issued a bulletin with recommended actions businesses can take to protect their customers. ATM Marketplace has the details. Share these recommendations with your retail customers.

Skinny skimmers
Fraudsters are getting sharper and so are the tools they are devising to pilfer funds from consumer bank accounts. New ATM card skimmers have been detected that are razor-thin and fit snugly inside the ATMs' card acceptance slot, making them difficult to detect. Krebs on Security has the details, including photos of these stealthy new skimmers.

ATM fraud gang foiled
Four members of a Romanian fraud gang were apprehended and have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and various other charges for their roles in purloining card data of 36,000 people from ATMs across the UK. The gang used spy cameras and skimmers designed to be fitted on the ATMs' side panels, rather than top panels, allowing for a clearer view of customers entering their PINs Finextra has the details.

Small banks need tech too
The theme song "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" from the TV sitcom Cheers conveys the same sentiment many customers feel about community banks. While the customer-centric and personalized service these smaller banks provide appeal to many consumers, to prosper in today’s competitive environment, community banks must learn how to combine tech-savvy tools with personalized service. Bank Systems & Technology has some tips on how community banks can increase their use of technology to retain existing customers and bring in new ones.

Mobile banking is a snap
The proliferation of smartphones with smart cameras is leading to an increase in smarter, more streamlined banking. The number of mobile banking customers using their smartphone cameras to pay bills and make deposits via MRDC (mobile remote deposit capture) has increased significantly in the first half of 2014, according to mobile banking app provider Malauzai Software, reports ATM Marketplace.

Invalid app coding
Data validation is the process of ensuring that a program, or application, is operating with correct data. The security of online and mobile applications relies on the input validation process that checks to make sure the data being entered fits within the parameters of what the app is expecting and, if it doesn't, denies access to that data. According to research conducted by software analysis firm CAST, an alarming number of finance and retail industry apps have data input validation violations - putting sensitive customer data at risk of exposure, reports Help Net Security.

Self-service CUs
One of Philadelphia’s largest locally-owned financial institutions is deploying advanced automation technology from Diebold to open four new self-service branches in the Philadelphia area. In addition to deposit and teller automated services, ATMs at the new Citadel branches will allow members of participating CO-OP Financial Services Shared Branching credit unions to access their accounts. The new branches are expected to open by early 2015. ATM Marketplace has the details.

Updates, Patches and Alerts...

On the lighter side ...
If you've ever gone to make a purchase and had your debit or credit card not go through, you can appreciate the frustration and surprise these shoppers experienced.
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