Posted on December 16, 2017 at 9:55 PM
Hackers have been using credit card stealing malware to infect popular retailers such as Zara just as the Christmas shopping craze begins.
Cybersecurity firms have confirmed that hackers have recently been using the notorious Zeus Panda Trojan to target UK-based shoppers getting ready for the festive season. Once hackers inject the Zeus Panda Trojan or any of its variants into its target, the hackers can steal a retailer’s customer credit card information.
According to cybersecurity experts, this trend emerged recently as they observed hackers targeting several platforms related to the retail, gambling, and online payment industry.
The latest Zeus Panda malware campaign was discovered by researchers from the security firm, Proofpoint. The researchers stated that this campaign has been active since November, so as to profit from the major retail activity during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday period.
The responsible hackers have injected the malware into several popular online shopping platforms, including the popular retailer, Zara. However, the malware has so far affected several sites ranging from video streaming service, travel services provider sites and many more. The malware has the capability to find and export a target’s clients’ sensitive information including address, names, phone numbers, security data, date of birth, social security number, and credit card information.
According to the researchers, the very first campaign that they noticed transpired in November. During this attack, the hackers targeted Canada-based firms and retailers shortly before Thanksgiving. However, when December started, the hackers shifted their attention to UK-based retailers. The researchers noted that it’s difficult to detect these specific malware attacks as the malware uses a man-in-the-middle attacking technique which often helps it to bypass antimalware and antivirus software. This makes it difficult for victims to know that they’ve been hacked.
To minimize damage, the researchers advised all retailers and companies to employ a virtual private network (VPN) during the holiday season.
On their blog, the Proofpoint researchers noted that this attack is clearly focussed on profiting from the festive season shopping craze. To protect themselves, researchers noted that a VPN could enhance a user’s protection by encrypting their online activity. In addition, a VPN can pick up on any potentially harmful malware traffic.