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.


09:45 AM
Connect Directly

Stolen Healthcare, Airline Credentials Found on Servers

Researchers at Finjan say cybercriminals are looking beyond stolen credit card accounts

Stolen credit card account numbers continue to flood the underground, but cybercriminals are starting to swipe other more lucrative data as these stolen accounts become more of a commodity.

Researchers at Finjan recently discovered 500 megabytes’ worth of a different kind of booty sitting on servers located in Argentina and Malaysia: Citrix single sign-on credentials for accessing patient and financial data at a major U.S. hospital and major healthcare organization; and similar credentials for accessing a large U.S. airline carrier’s passenger and cargo lists, flight schedules, security measures, and financial data.

Finjan's research illustrates that the bad guys are looking for different and more lucrative data that they can steal and then sell online to the highest bidder, says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of Finjan.

“It’s supply and demand. The fact is these people are now going after data that’s different from [the standard] credit card and SSN,” Ben-Itzhak says. “A year ago, a [stolen] credit card was $100. Now you can get one for $10-$20 a card.”

But that doesn’t mean cybercriminals still aren’t pilfering credit card data, other security experts argue. “I don't think there is a shift in cybercriminals stealing data other than credit card numbers. The stolen data from popular and mainstream Trojans is mainly grabbed via keylogging -- everything is captured, [and] then the wheat is separated from the chaff,” says Guillaume Lovet, senior manager for Fortinet’s Threat Response Team.

Lovet says the cybercriminals behind the servers Finjan found may not have even been after the login credentials, nor is it clear that the credentials are especially valuable. “The bottom line is that cybercriminals tend to capture all the data residing or transiting through compromised computers, [and] then sell everything there is a buyer for,” he says.

“Are there a lot of buyers for internal login credentials? [It] depends," Lovet says. "I may be wrong, but building a business based on buying/selling prescription drugs via ‘medical records’ hacking seems complicated, risky, and not significantly more profitable than messing with, say, eBay or Paypal accounts.”

Cybercriminals’ quest for more lucrative data to steal and sell is no surprise, experts say. “The scope of the credit card problem garners attention, but hackers have long been after any data of value,” says Randy Abrams, director of technical education for Eset.

Finjan also found stolen Social Security numbers and a health care organization employee’s Outlook email account credentials.

Meanwhile, Ben-Itzhak says he’s not sure exactly how the victims initially got infected, but it could have been via spam or visiting an infected Website. “We are aware of several Websites infected with this malicious code,” Ben-Itzhak says. It probably began with a doctor or other employee visiting such a site and his machine getting infected with the keylogger and other malware, he says.

The servers use the so-called ZeUs Trojan, which does keylogging, takes screen shots of the victim’s machine, and can poison legitimate Websites, according to Finjan's report on its findings.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Finjan Software Inc.
  • Fortinet Inc.
  • ESET

    Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
    7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
    Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
    Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
    The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
    PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
    NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.