U.S. federal investigators raided the Florida offices of a Chinese point-of-sale device provider that reportedly facilitated cyberattacks on American and European entities.
This week FBI agents descended on the Jacksonville offices of Shenzhen, China-based PAX Technology, which provides point of sale (POS) hardware and software to companies worldwide.
POS systems are used everywhere from big box retailers to gas stations to coffee shops for processing customer payments.
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The news was originally reported by WOKV, a local Jacksonville news outlet.
Cybersecurity news site KrebsOnSecurity said the raid is tied to reports that PAX’s systems may have been involved in cyberattacks on U.S. and EU organizations.
The FBI began investigating PAX “after a major U.S. payment processor started asking questions about unusual network packets originating from the company’s payment terminals,” KrebsOnSecurity said, based on information from a “trusted source.”
“The payment processor found that the PAX terminals were being used both as a malware ‘dropper’ — a repository for malicious files — and as ‘command-and-control’ locations for staging attacks and collecting information,” the cybersecurity news site said.
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The FBI Jacksonville office provided the following statement to FOX Business: “The FBI Jacksonville Division, in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Commerce, and Naval Criminal Investigative Services, and with the support of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, executed a court-authorized search in furtherance of a federal investigation (Tuesday, 10/26). The investigation remains active and ongoing and no additional information can be confirmed at this time.”
The FBI is providing no more information other than saying it conducted searches of three facilities in Jacksonville, according to Amanda Videll, public affairs officer at FBI Jacksonville.
“On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, PAX Technology, Inc. in the United States was subject to an unexpected visit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other government agencies relating to an apparent investigation,” a PAX Technology spokesperson told FOX Business.
“PAX Technology is not aware of any illegal conduct by it or its employees and is in the process of engaging counsel to assist in learning more about the events that led to the investigation,” the spokesperson said, adding that the company is “aware of media reports regarding the security of PAX Technology’s devices and services [and] PAX Technology takes security very seriously. … We remain committed to providing secure and quality software systems and solutions.”
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The PAX Jacksonville office and warehouse remain open, the spokesperson said.
After news of the FBI raid, FIS’s Worldpay online-payments processing unit said it had begun replacing terminals made by PAX due to security concerns, according to a report from Bloomberg.