MageCart Launches Customizable Campaign

A tool new to MageCart bolsters the group's ability to evade detection and steal data.

MageCart, a loose group of individuals and organizations that specializes in JavaScript information skimmers used to compromise commercial websites, has a new offering for it customers — one that carries new dangers for website owners and customers.

According to researchers at Fortinet, MageCart is now licensing Inter. According to Inksit Threat Analysis, "Inter is a JS Sniffer (credit card sniffer) that Sochi has sold on Exploit forum since December 2, 2018. One license of Inter costs $1,300, which includes the sniffer (payload), a user manual, 24/7 customer support, and free updates."

MageCart is offering Inter as a highly customizable payload along with JavaScript loaders and bundles of software that can ensure the malicious payload isn't being executed in a debugger or sandbox.

One of the campaign's unique qualities, according to Fortinet's report, is that the software injects a fake card payment form on a targeted Web page and skims a victim's entered card information, whether or not the page is a checkout form. This means the skimmer can be brought into the customer experience much earlier.

Changing the skimmer's point in the process also means it might be able to avoid some security software intended to catch it on the checkout page. An additional feature helps Inter avoid detection by hiding the stolen information in plain site.

The Fortinet researchers show that the MageCart-customized version of Inter creates an "IMG" element — an image element often used on Web pages — and then puts the exfiltrated data as a parameter of the image.

Neither Inter nor MageCart are new. What is new is the criminal group's use of this customizable, widely available tool. In the conclusion of their report, Fortinet researchers predict the success of the campaign means other groups are more likely to adopt Inter as well.

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About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin, Principal Analyst, Omdia

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Principal Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Previously, he was senior editor of Dark Reading, editor of Light Reading's Security Now, and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek, where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications including BYTE, ComputerWorld, CEO, Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most recent books, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, and Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, are published by Taylor and Francis.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in running, amateur radio (KG4GWA), the MakerFX maker space in Orlando, FL, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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