In an August 30th press release, posted previously on DataBreaches.net, chocolatier Russell Stover disclosed that point-of-sale (POS) terminals in their retail stores appeared to have been compromised by malware. Online customers were reportedly not at risk, but based on its investigation up until that date, they believed that the attacker may have been able to acquire payment card data from cards used in Russell Stover retail stores during a timeframe beginning no earlier than February 9, 2019 and no later than August 7, 2019. At the time of the press release, Russell Stover reported that they had no evidence that any information has been inappropriately used.
What a difference a week makes.
Analysts at Gemini Advisory subsequently identified more than 74,000 Card Present (CP)
records available for purchase on the dark web.
Sharing their findings exclusively with DataBreaches.net, Stas Alforov, Gemini’s Director of Research and Development, reported that the records were first added to the dark web on August 16, 2019, and included both track 1 and track 2 data, i.e., they included card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholders’ names.
Gemini’s analysis of the compromised data indicated that 25 of Russell Stover’s 28 stores were affected.The only three retail locations not impacted were the Columbus, Ohio; Lebanon, Missouri; and Iola, Kansas locations, although as Alforov noted, this could change as additional data from this breach is posted to the dark web.
Based on the timeline reported by Russell Stover, which is consistent with their findings, and the common tactic of uploading large breaches to the dark web in multiple installments, Gemini informs DataBreaches.net that they assess with high confidence that the full breach affected more than the 74,000 records currently for sale, and that the criminals responsible for this breach will likely continue to add records to the dark web in the coming weeks or even months.
When contacted about Gemini Advisory’s findings and asked for a statement, a spokesperson for Russell Stover responded:
We are working closely with the FBI to monitor any potential misuse of data.
As a precaution, consumers should closely monitor their credit card statements and immediately contact their bank or financial institution if they find any suspicious activity.
In light of Gemini’s findings and their prediction that more batches of cards will be up for sale, that sounds like good advice.