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‘Backoff’ virus latest POS threat

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is warning retailers about a new, nearly indetectable computer virus known as “Backoff” that poses a threat to POS systems. According to an advisory from Homeland Security, most antivirus software cannot recognize Backoff.

Backoff has been discovered in at least three investigations into retail POS breaches. The malware was first identified in October 2013 and can expose sensitive retailer and consumer data, including credit card information. Hackers insert Backoff by using administrative credentials on remote desktop applications.

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Cornell unlikely to be long-term Target solution

BY CSA STAFF

Brian Cornell’s tenure as Target’s chairman and CEO begins on August 12. Don’t expect it to last long if his track record at other recent employers is any indication.

Cornell brings to Target an impressive roster of C-level positions at big name companies — PepsiCo, Sam’s Club, Michael’s, Safeway — but the 55-year-old executive didn’t stick around for long at any of them.

His most recent job as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods lasted roughly two years. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club for nearly three years from April 2009 until January 2012, and resigned under the auspices of wanting to return to the Northeastern U.S. to spend more time with his family.

Prior to Sam’s, Cornell was CEO of arts and crafts retailer Michael’s Stores from 2007 to early 2009 and prior to that he spent roughly three years at Safeway from 2004 to 2007 as EVP and chief marketing officer. Cornell’s bio also shows that he served in senior leadership roles at Tropicana, later acquired by PepsiCo, as well as PepsiCo from 1999 to 2004.

Another indication that Cornell may be a relatively short-term solution at Target relates to the title he wasn’t given at the company. Cornell is chairman and CEO. His predecessor Gregg Steinhafel also served as president. When Steinhafel left unexpectedly in early May the board, deficient in its succession planning obligation to shareholders, was left flat-footed with no immediate replacement. CFO John Mulligan filled in on an interim basis until Target lured Cornell away from PepsiCo. Cornell will have the opportunity in the coming months perhaps to name a president — someone who can oversee merchandising, operations and marketing — who could also serve as a successor when, or if, he decides to move on after a few years.

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Sam’s shows kids BTS value

BY CSA STAFF

Fingerprinting and DNA sampling are on back-to-school lists at Sam’s Club this year where the warehouse club operator is using the allure of free services to expose would-be members to its value proposition.

On Saturday, August 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at clubs nationwide Sam’s is offering DNA testing and fingerprint kits as part of an annual free children’s health screening program. The screenings, which combine health and child safety information are available at the 596 Sam’s locations with a pharmacy.

The free event includes a take-home DNA kit that provides instructions on storing a saliva sample to help find children in the event they are ever lost to which only a parent/guardian has access and a child safety ID kit with a fingerprint form and instructions on storing personal information. In addition, the screenings include a blood pressure check, a body mass index evaluation and vision screening.

“As a parent, you never want to think about needing information like fingerprints and DNA samples, but these items could prove critical should the need for them ever arise,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP of Sam’s Club health and wellness. “This free event for our members and the public helps give parents a way to combine shopping for back-to-school with capturing potentially life-saving information.”

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