Is Your Money Safe When You Swipe?

How safe are mobile point-of-sale systems? Every day pay for coffee at a local café using the latest credit card processor; could that action lead to theft or fraudulent charges?

There are several potential flaws that put digital payment systems at risk of cyber-attacks. These vulnerabilities allow unscrupulous merchants to raid customer accounts and steal credit card data. Or, hackers can easily get into the systems of unknowing retailers, gaining access to all their customer’s data.

Before payment systems went mobile, retailers were at risk of traditional attacks to their point-of-sale (POS) systems. For example, Target faced a major cyber breach during the holiday season in 2013 that affected 40 million payment cards. Now, mobile POS systems are being targeted by cybercriminals, especially as the market for these systems is expected to reach $55 billion by 2024. These systems allow customers to make purchases and now cryptocurrency payments on-the-go. Square, SumUp, PayPal and other systems are at risk of being hacked without detection from conventional anti-fraud tools.

An attack can occur in three ways. A customer purchases an item from a story using a mobile POS machine. The criminal will then send an arbitrary command to the machine’s system in hopes of getting the cardholder to be forced to rerun the transaction again, this time through a less secure channel. Or a hacker could tamper with the sale amount to pocket some of the money. Thirdly, a remote code execution allows hackers to remotely access the mobile POS machine’s memory, allowing the hacker to steal cardholders’ account information.

While mobile POS systems provide many benefits to merchants, there are major risks for consumers. Most of these systems don’t utilize EMV chip technology that enhances a user’s security, instead of using a traditional magnetic strip. Currently, 13 percent of US-based mobile-POS machines utilize chip technology. EMV technology has become the gold standard in storing and protecting cardholder data.

The vulnerabilities in mobile-POS machines, often used by small to medium-sized businesses, put customers at great risk of identity theft, fraudulent charges and stolen personal data.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!



Listen Carefully, Respond Creatively
April 12, 2024

In this captivating episode of the Fans First series, Jesse Cole, the mastermind behind the Savannah Bananas, delves into the transformative business philosophy of “listen carefully, respond creatively.” This approach has not only skyrocketed the Savannah Bananas to fame but also serves as a universal blueprint for revolutionizing customer service and engagement across all sectors. […]

Read More
Stacey Childress, Senior Advisor at McKinsey and Company, discusses higher ed
Bold Measures are Needed to Improve Investment in Higher Education
April 12, 2024

The stakes for higher education have never been higher as the educational landscape sees rapid evolution. As universities and colleges grapple with the dual challenges of technological disruption and increasing demands for accessible, quality education, the question of how best to implement investment in higher education becomes a priority. This debate has been ignited […]

Read More
wake up healthy
Hey, it’s 9 am… Wake up Healthy with 9amHealth!
April 12, 2024

Healthcare Rethink host Brian Urban explores ways to wake up healthy and stay healthy with his guest, Dr. Avantika Waring, MD, the Chief Medical Officer, at 9amHealth. This episode delves into the transformative approach to healthcare delivery championed by 9amHealth. Dr. Waring’s journey from a humanities student with a love for French to a […]

Read More
public safety and security
Strengthen Public Safety and Security: Modernize Radio Communication for Better Field Response
April 11, 2024

The importance of radio communication within public safety and security operations remains unbeaten in an era dominated by digital transformation. This medium, essential for over a century, continues to be the lifeline for responders on the front lines. From ensuring the safety of field agents to facilitating real-time critical information flow and enhancing situational […]

Read More