Wawa card breach: 30 million card records for sale in the dark web

Pierluigi Paganini January 29, 2020

New revelations on the Wawa card data breach suggests that the incident might have exposed 30 million customers’ data that are now available online for sale.

In December 2019, Wawa convenience store chain disclosed a payment card breach, its security team discovered a PoS malware on its payment processing systems.

Wawa operates more than 860 convenience retail stores, this breach is potentially one of the biggest card incidents in 2019. The malware affected in-store payments and payments at fuel dispensers, anyway ATM machines were infected.

The malicious code infected the payment systems on December 10 and it was removed on December 12, the incident may have exposed debit and credit card data from thousands of customers.

The PoS malware was planted on Match 4, it began running on in-store payment processing systems at potentially all Wawa locations. The malicious code was designed to collect card numbers, cardholder names, and other data.

This week, crooks started selling the Wawa customers’ payment card details of more than 30 million Americans and over one million foreigners on Joker’s Stash carding forum.

The popular investigator Brian Krebs, who first reported the news, pointed out that the card dump was advertised under the name of BIGBADABOOM-III. Krebs, citing sources that work closely with financial institutions, said that the card data was traced back to the Wawa chain.

“On the evening of Monday, Jan. 27, a popular fraud bazaar known as Joker’s Stash began selling card data from “a new huge nationwide breach” that purportedly includes more than 30 million card accounts issued by thousands of financial institutions across 40+ U.S. .” reads the post published by Brian Krebs. “Two sources that work closely with financial institutions nationwide tell KrebsOnSecurity the new batch of cards that went on sale Monday evening — dubbed “BIGBADABOOM-III” by Joker’s Stash — map squarely back to purchases at Wawa.”

Joker Stash announced that the dump would include US, European, and global card records, including the cardholder’s data, state, city, and ZIP Code. Wawa declared that only payment card information was exposed, and that no debit card PIN numbers, credit card CVV2 numbers or other personal information were involved.

According to Gemini, the median price of US-issued records from this payment card breach is currently $17, but experts also noticed that some of the international records were offered at $210 per card. 

“Since the breach may have affected over 850 stores and potentially exposed 30 million sets of payment records, it ranks among the largest payment card breaches of 2019, and of all time,” reads a security advisory published by Gemini Advisory.

The experts believe that the incident is comparable to major card data breaches Home Depot (2014 – 56 million customers’ data) or Target (2013 – 40 million card data).

“Major breaches of this type often have low demand in the dark web. This may be due to the breached merchant’s public statement or to security researchers’ quick identification of the point of compromise.” concludes Gemini. “However, JokerStash uses the media coverage of major breaches such as these to bolster their credibility as the most notorious vendor of compromised payment cards.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Wawa data breach, hacking)

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