Security Experts:

Sally Beauty: Cybercriminals Planted Malware on PoS Systems for 6 Weeks

Professional beauty supplies retailer Sally Beauty has provided an update on its investigation into the recent breach of its payment card systems.

In a statement published late on Thursday, Sally Beauty revealed that cybercriminals had deployed malware on some of the company’s point-of-sale (PoS) systems at varying times between March 6 and April 17, 2015. The retailer says it has cleaned up the malware from all of its PoS systems.

The attackers might have gained access to names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, cardholder verification values, and service codes. Sally Beauty has noted that the cardholder verification value it’s referring to is not the 3-4 digit value printed on the card.

The firm has once again pointed out that it does not collect or store PINs, and says it hasn’t found any evidence to suggest that such data has been exposed.

Since it’s unable to determine exactly which payment cards have may have been compromised, the retailer is offering identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to all customers who acquired products using payment cards at a U.S. store between March 6 and April 17.

Sally Beauty learned of the breach during the week of April 27, when it received reports of unusual activity involving payment cards used at some of its stores in the United States.

This isn’t the first payment card breach suffered by the retailer. In March 2014, the company revealed that 25,000 credit and debit cards might have been compromised. Security blogger Brian Krebs uncovered evidence at the time that as many as 282,000 cards may have been obtained by cybercrooks.

Sally Beauty says it’s “inappropriate to speculate at this time” if this latest breach is related to the 2014 incident.

The firm has pointed out that it “devoted significant time and resources” to strengthen IT security after the 2014 breach. Despite its security improvements, the retailer says the latest breach was possible because “as seen in other data breaches involving other prominent retailers, criminals have been able to use new malware to breach sophisticated payment card systems.”

Sally Beauty sells and distributes its products through 4,900 stores located all around the world. The company has an annual revenue of $3.8 billion.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.