Russian Teen Responsible for Malware Used in Target Data Breach

Don't you miss the days when teenagers used to get in trouble for crossing over old man Jenkin's lawn on the way to school? It's a different a era we live in, one where the landscape is connected through cyberspace and ripe for mischief of a totally different kind. Hence it shouldn't be all that shocking to find out that a Russian teen is believed to be responsible for the malware that was used to infiltrate Target and make off with personal data for up to 110 million customers.

The same malware was also used in an attack against Neiman Marcus and could show up in other attacks against retailers, according to security firm IntelCrawler, which called it an "off-the-shelf" product called BlackPOS. A 17-year-old in St. Petersburg is believed to have written the code.

Target Store

A first run version of BlackPOS was created back in March but there have been over 40 versions and mutations sold around the world since then. The first known infection occurred in retailer systems located in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Most of the targets have been department stores.

Target was hit particularly hard by the data breach. It was initially though that up to 40 million customers had their credit card details and other personal information swiped as a result of the cyberattack, but Target later said that up to an additional 70 million customers might also be affected in some way, bringing the total to 110 million potentially affected customers.