Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Zeus Botnet Targeting Retailer Credit Cards

Macy's and Nordstrom cardholders are now at risk from financial malware's latest social engineering attack.

How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: How Firesheep Can Hijack Web Sessions
Just in time for the holidays, the Zeus botnet toolkit has gotten an upgrade: it now has the ability to target large retailers' credit card users' accounts.

That warning was issued on Wednesday by Amit Klein, CTO of data security firm Trusteer. "Our research group recently discovered a Zeus botnet that is targeting credit card accounts of major U.S. retailers including Macy's and Nordstrom just as the holiday gift buying season is in full swing," he said in a blog post.

Klein said the new capabilities are built into Zeus 2.1.0.8 -- the latest version -- and appear designed to steal people's credit card details so criminals can conduct "card not present" (CNP) transactions. Merchants must typically foot the bill for any CNP fraud that occurs on their cards, thus many have invested substantial resources into detecting fraudulent transactions.

Accordingly, the Zeus malware now takes additional steps to circumvent anti-fraud measures. "The attack we discovered uses social engineering to gather additional information beyond the credit card number that will make it easier for the criminal to bypass fraud detection measures used to investigate suspicious transactions," said Klein.

In particular, Zeus can inject a seemingly legitimate "man-in-the-middle pop-up," he said, which requests the user's credit card number -- for Macy's or Nordstrom, as appropriate -- as well as card expiration date, CVV security code, social security number, mother's maiden name, and date of birth. After entering the information, users hit a button that says "verify." Of course, nothing is being verified; the information is being recorded by Zeus and funneled to the criminals behind this operation.

This latest attack highlights the challenge faced by merchants, as well as security firms, of trying to keep pace with rapidly evolving financial malware. Indeed, the emergence of inexpensive financial malware such as Zeus -- apparently available for as little as $3,000 on the black market, though customizing it with other capabilities can easily add another $10,000 -- means that criminals without computer expertise now have access to cheap botnets and automated attack toolkits.

Interestingly, the new capabilities come in the wake of October's reported announcement that the creator of Zeus, feeling the heat, was going to retire. Security experts say they're not holding their breath.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
Sodinokibi Ransomware: Where Attackers' Money Goes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18216
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-20
** DISPUTED ** The BIOS configuration design on ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS laptops with BIOS 313 relies on the main battery instead of using a CMOS battery, which reduces the value of a protection mechanism in which booting from a USB device is prohibited. Attackers who have physical laptop access ...
CVE-2019-18214
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
The Video_Converter app 0.1.0 for Nextcloud allows denial of service (CPU and memory consumption) via multiple concurrent conversions because many FFmpeg processes may be running at once. (The workload is not queued for serial execution.)
CVE-2019-18202
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
Information Disclosure is possible on WAGO Series PFC100 and PFC200 devices before FW12 due to improper access control. A remote attacker can check for the existence of paths and file names via crafted HTTP requests.
CVE-2019-18209
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
templates/pad.html in Etherpad-Lite 1.7.5 has XSS when the browser does not encode the path of the URL, as demonstrated by Internet Explorer.
CVE-2019-18198
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
In the Linux kernel before 5.3.4, a reference count usage error in the fib6_rule_suppress() function in the fib6 suppression feature of net/ipv6/fib6_rules.c, when handling the FIB_LOOKUP_NOREF flag, can be exploited by a local attacker to corrupt memory, aka CID-ca7a03c41753.