Labs Magecart

Old Magecart Domains are Being Bought Up for Monetization

Old Magecart domains are finding new life in subsequent cyber threat campaigns, many of which are entirely unrelated to web skimming. 

Over the years, we’ve outed many Magecart web-skimming campaigns in reports that denoted IOCs, including malicious domains that cyber attackers used to inject web-skimming JavaScript into browsers or as a destination for the skimmed payment information. Large portions of these malicious domains have been taken up for sinkholing by various parties. However, some of them are kicked offline by the registrar, put on hold, and then eventually released back into the pool of available domains.

Here’s the catch: when these domains come back online, they retain their call-outs to malicious domains placed on breached websites by cyber attackers, which means they also retain their value to cyber threat actors. Bad guys are taking advantage of these domains coming back up for sale and purchasing them to be once again pressed into service for malicious purposes, whether that be more web skimming or for use in malvertising campaigns.

Hijacking JavaScript injections

Many website owners are never aware of an active skimmer threat on their site—RiskIQ found that the average Magecart skimmer stays on a site for over two months, and many stay there indefinitely. The entire lifecycle of these malicious domains—loading JavaScript to an infected website, going offline, and then coming back online again—can pass without the website owner having an inkling that something was wrong. 

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Labs Analyst

A Deeper Look at the Phishing Campaigns Targeting Bellingcat Researchers Investigating Russia

On July 26th, ThreatConnect published an analysis of a coordinated phishing attack against Bellingcat, an investigative journalism website that specializes in fact-checking and open-source intelligence. Known for their work investigating Russia, Bellingcat researchers were carefully chosen targets, as stated by Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins on Twitter

Highly focused, the phishing campaign targeted the digital security of only ten individuals, who have been identified by investigative journalist Christo Grozev. These include some researchers who do not work for Bellingcat but do investigate Russia.

ProtonMail, the email service used in the phishing attack, published a short statement, which included some fascinating details on the phishing attack from their perspective.


In this article, we’ll explore a different angle to this campaign by analyzing it from the unique outside-in perspective of RiskIQ. RiskIQ data reveals multiple phishing campaigns involving different tactics beyond the analysis by ThreatConnect. 

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Labs Magecart

Spray and Pray: Magecart Campaign Breaches Websites En Masse Via Misconfigured Amazon S3 Buckets

On May 14th, RiskIQ covered the latest mass compromise of third-party web suppliers by a Magecart group. This initial report focused on seven of these suppliers, the scripts of which were injected with skimmer code, which possibly affected several thousand websites using their services. 

However, the actual scale of this campaign and the number of sites affected is much larger than previously reported. The actors behind these compromises have automated the process of compromising websites with skimmers by actively scanning for misconfigured Amazon S3 buckets. These buckets are un-secure because they are misconfigured, which allows anyone with an Amazon Web Services account to read or write content to them.

RiskIQ has been monitoring the compromise of S3 buckets since the beginning of the campaign, which started in early April 2019. We’ve been working with Amazon and affected parties to address Magecart injections and misconfigured S3 buckets as we observe them.

We wrote the following article to raise awareness around the security policies for Amazon S3 as well as web-skimming attacks in general.

Discovery of Misconfigured Bucket

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Labs Magecart

Magecart Supply-chain Frenzy Continues With AppLixir, RYVIU, OmniKick, eGain, AdMaxim, CloudCMS & Picreel

Last weekend, security researchers surfaced new supply-chain attacks involving Magecart web-skimmers placed on several web-based suppliers, including AdMaxim, CloudCMS, and Picreel. The breaches were part of a large-scale attack that hit a breadth of providers simultaneously intending to access as many websites as possible.

Web-based supply-chain attacks, which compromise vendors that supply code that adds or improves website functionality, gives attackers access to a wide range of victims at once because the compromised code often integrates with thousands of sites. In this blog, we'll break down the Magecart skimming activity on these seven providers and detail when and how the compromises occurred, including how some of them could have been far worse.

A Widespread Campaign

As the timestamps below indicate, the majority of these compromises happened near the same day, Friday, May 10th.

Some of the targets in this campaign do not even process payments on their websites, showing that the attackers used a “shotgun” approach to great effect, compromising as many websites as they could knowing that at least some of them would be lucrative. RiskIQ found evidence of many other sites also being compromised, including:

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Labs Magecart

Magento Attack: All Payment Platforms are Targets for Magecart Attacks

With our internet-wide telemetry, RiskIQ has discovered some of the most significant Magecart attacks ever carried out. These involved a host of different tools and tactics including several different inject types, skimmers of varying sophistication, and countless intrusion methods. But for every Magecart attack that makes headlines, we detect thousands more that we don’t disclose. A considerable portion of these lesser-known breaches involves third-party payment platforms.

The most notorious of these payment platforms is Magento. RiskIQ’s first blog post on Magecart introduced it as a new breed of threat centered around attacks on Magento, and recent developments show that stores running Magento are still a prime target for skimming groups. Considering the frequency with which Magecart groups target Magento, many security professionals associate Magecart (and web skimming in general) with Magento.

However, web skimming goes well beyond Magento. Skimming groups target almost any web environment, including dozens of other online shopping platforms used by stores around the world.

In this post, we’ll explain how the rise of web-skimming coincides with the development and evolution of online shopping platforms that not only power large e-tailers but also thousands of smaller stores. While breaches of big brands like British Airways and Ticketmaster have become infamous, it’s smaller stores, more prone to security flaws, that help Magecart thrive.

We’ll also break down a large-scale Magecart Group 12 campaign uncovered by RiskIQ researchers abusing the OpenCart platform, which is run by thousands of e-commerce sites.

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Labs Magecart

Consumers May Lose Sleep Over These Two New Magecart Breaches

We've seen Magecart conduct numerous high-profile digital credit card-skimming attacks against major international companies like British Airways, Ticketmaster, and Newegg. These Magecart groups have won unprecedented attention for themselves.

Security professionals have Magecart firmly on their radar, but they must remember that Magecart is a continuously evolving cybersecurity threat and there are new victims all the time. At RiskIQ, we detect hundreds of Magecart incidents every day but don't publicly document the vast majority of what we find. We only document significant events or changes in a group's mode of operation or capabilities.

In this blog, we'll document two Magecart-related breaches against bedding retailers MyPillow and Amerisleep. One has been resolved but was never disclosed, and another is ongoing despite our numerous attempts to contact the affected retailer. In both cases, the potential victims of credit card fraud — the consumers — have not been informed.

Note: In both breaches, only online payments were affected, not physical transactions.


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Labs Magecart

Magecart Group 4: Never Gone, Always Advancing – Professionals In Cybercrime

In November of 2018, we published the cornerstone report  "Inside Magecart," in which we disclosed the existence of seven distinct Magecart groups and described in detail their operations and the different ways they skim payment information. Since then, we’ve detailed even more groups, such as Group 11 and Group 12.

After our researchers surface more Magecart instances in RiskIQ’s automated detection, attribution is usually the final step in our analysis. However, we also spend a lot of time keeping up with each group and how it evolves. In this article, we’ll get back to a group we covered in the “Inside Magecart” report: Magecart Group 4.

Forcing their hand

We shed a big, bright light on Magecart Group 4’s operation and in the process described how their skimming attacks worked. However, more importantly, we took down crucial parts of their infrastructure. By taking down this infrastructure, we forced them to change their tactics and rebuild everything. Fortunately, this did not affect our ability to track them.

Magecart Group 4 has registered close to a hundred new domains and set up a large pool of servers with which to route these domains and supply victimized websites with skimmers. When we described Magecart Group 4 in the Inside Magecart report, we noted them as one of the most advanced groups we’ve encountered given their rich history in the e-crime ecosystem. This has proven to be even more true with their actions since:

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YouTube Impersonation Scams Offering Fake Rewards are Running Wild

Recently, a brand new scam hit YouTube subscribers in which they received messages purporting to be from famous YouTube personalities asking them to click on a link to claim a prize. Covered by the BBC, The Verge, and many more, the scam initially hit the news when famous YouTuber Philip DeFranco put out a new video that included a message warning his subscribers of the scam. However, RiskIQ's data shows that this scam has been going on a lot longer, going all the way back to 2016.

These scams are lucrative for their operators, who monetize their campaigns by racking up referral clicks to online surveys from organizations that provide them with kickbacks. The following are other unique insights we gathered from RiskIQ's web forensics data.

The Scam Rundown

So how did this scam work? These threat actors leveraged a combination of clever impersonation techniques, which boosted the legitimacy of their messages and improved the likelihood that users would click their links, and the abuse of these two systems built into YouTube:

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    Labs Magecart

    New Year, Same Magecart: The Continuation of Web-based Supply Chain Attacks

    RiskIQ has tracked Magecart and exposed their attacks for years. Now, the term is top-of-mind in the security community and beyond, with a Google search of ‘Magecart’ returning over 170,000 results. In fact, the cybercriminal group of digital credit card-skimming gangs gained such notoriety throughout last year that WIRED named Magecart in its list of “Most Dangerous People On The Internet In 2018.”

    With the threat of Magecart looming large, RiskIQ receives a continuous flow of questions from businesses looking to protect their attack surface; law enforcement tracking each Magecart group, reporters covering Magecart activity, and other vendors looking to leverage RiskIQ’s unique web forensics data which enabled us to disclose Magecart attacks against Ticketmaster, British Airways, Newegg, and more.

    Unfortunately, Magecart is only becoming a more significant threat as it scales and evolves faster than ever, but we will continue to track Magecart activities and new groups as they emerge. This report details another attack campaign occurring over the past months that used a third-party supply chain attack, a tried and true Magecart tactic used in Group 5’s breach of Ticketmaster.

    Web-based supply chain attacks compromise vendors that supply code often used to add or improve site functionality. This code integrates with thousands of websites, so when it’s compromised, the sites of all of the customers that use it are compromised. This gives Magecart access to a wide range of victims at once.


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