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Wednesday, 26 September 2018 06:00

Symantec says nearly 250,000 attempts to steal card data blocked

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Symantec says nearly 250,000 attempts to steal card data blocked Pixabay

The American security firm Symantec says it has blocked nearly a quarter of a million attempts at what it calls "formjacking" — use of malicious JavaScript to steal credit card details and other information from payment forms on the checkout Web pages of e-commerce sites — since mid-August.

More than a third of those attempts had been noticed between 13 and 20 September.

In a blog post, Symantec said recent attacks of this kind included those on the websites of Ticketmaster, British Airways. Feedify and Newegg by a group called Magecart.

Outlining how "formjacking" works, the company said: "When a customer of an e-commerce site clicks 'submit' or its equivalent after entering their details into a website’s payment form, malicious JavaScript code that has been injected there by the cyber criminals collects all entered information, such as payment card details and the user’s name and address.

"This information is then sent to the attacker’s servers. Attackers can then use this information to perform payment card fraud or sell these details to other criminals on the dark web."

Formjacking Infographic 700

Symantec said it studied a smaller subset of these attempts, to try and comprehend the types of websites that were being attacked.

Looking at 1000 instances of "formjacking" between 18 and 20 September, it said that 57 individual sites, ranging from online retail to smaller niche operations to larger retail sites, were affected.

"Websites affected ranged from a fashion retailer in Australia, to a supplier of outdoor accessories in France, and a fitness retailer in Italy. Other retailers affected included a supplier of parts for cars and sites selling kitchen accessories and customised gifts," Symantec said.

It said the Magecart group had earlier been focusing on compromising Magneto online stores, but looked to have switched tactics in recent days and was now using "formjacking" and supply chain compromise to obtain data of payment cards.

Graphic: courtesy Symantec

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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