[ISN] Restaurants likely target of hackers, local sheriff says

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Jul 26 2007 - 23:25:08 PDT


By John Ford
Daily News Managing Editor
July 25, 2007

You may have gotten this in your in-box, a missive not to use your 
credit or debit cards at two area restaurants for fear that someone will 
use the financial information on the magnetic strip to clean out your 
bank account.

It's good advice, according to Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland.

Copeland said his office has been investigating reports of cleaned out 
accounts after bank cards were used at Nansy's and El Charro's, Neosho 
Mexican restaurants.

But it isn't the employees who are gaining access to credit card 
information, he said: It's hackers.

Our investigators say they don't suspect anybody there at the 
restaurants, but they do suspect their credit card system has been 
hacked by somebody else, Copeland said. It's not probably that actual 
system there, it's the system where the motherboard is.

Det. Randy Scott, the sheriff's department in-house computer expert, and 
other investigators are working on the case, Copeland said.

Some other advice to prevent identity theft, from the Missouri Attorney 
General's Office and area bankers:

* Do not give your credit or debit card to the waiter or waitress.  
  Instead, take it to the cash register yourself;

* Don't give out your Social Security or account numbers unless you 
  initiate the contact;

* Leave your Social Security off of checks and driver's license;

* Shred trash with sensitive information, including convenience checks 
  and credit card offers you get in the mail;

* Send sensitive material using a post office drop box, instead of your 
  mailbox at home;

* Carry only the credit cards and documents you need on a daily basis.  
  Do not carry your Social Security card;

* Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and get fewer solicitations 
  at home: www.optoutprescreen.com or 888-567-8688;

* Use virus protection, a firewall and spyware detection on your 

The Missouri attorney general's office also advises people watch their 
monthly credit card and bank statements for unauthorized charges and 

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