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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/8/2018
06:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New POS Malware Steals Data via DNS Traffic

UDPoS is disguised to appear like a LogMeIn service pack, Forcepoint says.

Researchers at Forcepoint have discovered new point-of-sale (POS) malware disguised as a LogMeIn service pack that is designed to steal data from the magnetic stripe on the back of payment cards.

The malware, which Forcepoint is calling UDPoS, is somewhat different from the usual POS tools in that it uses UDP-based DNS traffic to sneak stolen credit and debit card data past firewalls and other security controls. It is also one of the few new POS malware tools to surface in some time, according to the company.

In recent years, the US, like many other countries, has switched from magnetic cards to chip and PIN cards based on the Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) standard. The transition has made it harder for criminals to steal payment card data using POS malware—like they did with the massive theft at Target in 2013.

However, malware like UDPoS suggests that criminals still see an opportunity to steal data from POS systems. For instance, Trend Micro last year reported on MajikPOS, a POS malware family that was used to steal data on more than 23,300 payment cards. Retailer Forever 21, which is investigating a data breach first reported last November, recently disclosed finding malware on some of its POS systems.

Luke Somerville, head of special investigations at Forcepoint, says there's no evidence to show that UDPoS is currently being used to steal credit or debit card data. But Forcepoint's tests have shown that the malware is indeed capable of doing so successfully.

In addition, one of the command and control servers with which the malware communicates was active and responsive during Forcepoint's investigation of the threat. "[This] implies that the authors were at least prepared to deploy this malware in the wild," Somerville says.

Among the likely targets of the malware are POS systems in hotels and restaurants and any other location with handheld devices for swiping credit and debit cards.

"This malware targets Windows-based systems," Somerville notes. "Legacy POS systems are often based on variations of the Windows XP kernel. Large retailers who have not recently updated their systems could potentially have hundreds or even thousands of vulnerable machines."

Forcepoint discovered the malware when investigating an apparent LogMeIn service pack that was generating a notable amount of unusual DNS requests. The company's analysis of the malware showed it contacting a command and control server that also had a LogMeIn-themed identity.

There is no evidence that LogMeIn's remote access service or products have been abused in any way as part of the malware deployment process, says Somerville. Instead, the authors of UDPoS appear to be simply using the LogMeIn brand as a sort of camouflage. "Using the name of a legitimate product as the theme of the file and service names is effectively an attempt to limit suspicion over the presence of these artifacts on infected machines," he says.

Forcepoint itself has no insight into the process that the malware authors have used or plan to use to deliver UDPoS on point-of-sale systems. But the use of the LogMeIn brand to disguise the malware is not accidental. Many retailers and other organizations use LogMeIn's software to enable remote management of their POS systems.

Given the filenames that have been chosen, it is clear that the authors of the malware are hoping to sneak their malware into these systems in the guise of a LogMeIn software update, Somerville says.

LogMeIn itself issued an alert this week warning its users not to fall for the scam. "According to our investigation, the malware is intended to deceive an unsuspecting user into executing a malicious email, link or file, possibly containing the LogMeIn name," the company noted.

The alert reminded organizations of the LogMeIn's policy of never using an attachment or a link for updating its software.

"UDPoS appears to have drawn inspiration from several other POS malware families," Somerville says. "While none of the individual features are entirely unique, the combination of them appears to be a deliberate attempt to draw together successful elements of other campaigns."

Related content:

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
News
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
News
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Sure you have fire, but he has an i7!
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-27217
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-04
An issue was discovered in the _send_secure_msg() function of Yubico yubihsm-shell through 2.0.3. The function does not correctly validate the embedded length field of an authenticated message received from the device. Out-of-bounds reads performed by aes_remove_padding() can crash the running proce...
CVE-2021-22128
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-04
An improper access control vulnerability in FortiProxy SSL VPN portal 2.0.0, 1.2.9 and below versions may allow an authenticated, remote attacker to access internal service such as the ZebOS Shell on the FortiProxy appliance through the Quick Connection functionality.
CVE-2021-23126
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-04
An issue was discovered in Joomla! 3.2.0 through 3.9.24. Usage of the insecure rand() function within the process of generating the 2FA secret.
CVE-2021-23127
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-04
An issue was discovered in Joomla! 3.2.0 through 3.9.24. Usage of an insufficient length for the 2FA secret accoring to RFC 4226 of 10 bytes vs 20 bytes.
CVE-2021-23128
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-04
An issue was discovered in Joomla! 3.2.0 through 3.9.24. The core shipped but unused randval implementation within FOF (FOFEncryptRandval) used an potential insecure implemetation. That has now been replaced with a call to 'random_bytes()' and its backport that is shipped within random_compat.