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Posted on August 12, 2016 by in Data Breach & Technology, Personal

You’ve probably been hearing about several different data breaches in recent months at a wide range of stores, hotels, and retail locations — but a breach uncovered this week may just hold the key to all of them.

Oracle Corp., the huge software company that owns the MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment system, has allegedly fallen victim to a Russian organized cybercrime group who has stolen more than $1 billion from all types of businesses over the past few years. At this time, it is unclear how many individuals have been affected, but MICROS systems are used in more than 330,000 cash registers around the world.

What You Need to Know About the Oracle Data Breach

The problem at Oracle was first announced by a security expert, Brian Krebs, on August 8, 2016. Krebs was contacted in July by a MICROS customer who said he or she had heard about a possible significant breach at Oracle’s retail division, so he began investigating the claim on July 25, 2016. Oracle did confirm to Krebs that it had “detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems,” but declined to elaborate or provide more information.

The breach is believed to affect hundreds of the company’s computers, as well as an online support portal that is used to remotely address any customer issues. Krebs said the hackers were able to steal MICROS customer usernames and passwords by planting malicious code into the support portal; every time a customer logged in, their information went to the attackers.

Though nothing has been confirmed yet, it seems that Oracle is concerned that the cyber criminals may have also uploaded malware into the point-of-sale systems. Those systems are connected to cash registers at stores and could have the potential to steal credit and debit card numbers.

A professional fraud analyst spoke with Krebs about the breach and believes the true concern is the point-of-sale systems.

“This [incident] could explain a lot about the source of some of these retail and merchant point-of-sale hacks that nobody has been able to definitively tie to any one point-of-sale services provider,” said Avivah Litan, a fraud analyst at Gartner Inc. “I’d say there’s a big chance that the hackers, in this case, found a way to get remote access.”

Are You an Oracle Customer?

If you’re an Oracle customer, there isn’t too much you can do right now. The company is forcing a password reset for all support accounts on the MICROS portal, and they are recommending password changes for any account used by a MICROS representative to access on-premises point-of-sale systems. If you’re concerned, reach out to the company to see if there is anything else that you can do. In the meantime, stay alert, keep an eye out for any abnormalities,

Image courtesy of Flickr user Peter Kaminski.