More than a thousand point-of-sale, grocery management and accounting systems worldwide have been compromised by a new strain of malware, results of a March 2014 probe have revealed.
During a survey of compromised POS terminals, accounting systems and grocery management platforms, the Nemanja botnet was fingered as one of the biggest of the lot.
After infiltrating various small businesses and grocery stores, the botnet then sets up a means to lift credit card and other sensitive data from compromised systems.
Cyber-intelligence firm IntelCrawler said it had detected 1,478 hosts infected by Nemanja in countries as far apart as Australia, Israel and Zambia. Various systems in the UK, US and Germany have also been infected by the keylogging malware.
"The 'Nemanja' case has shown that cybercriminals have started to join POS malware with keyloggers in order to intercept credentials of various back-office systems and databases in order to gain an access to payment or personal identifiable data," IntelCrawler said in an advisory. "During the investigation on the 'Nemanja' botnet, over a thousand infected compromised POS terminals, accounting systems, and grocery management systems were identified."
The latest malware is part of a larger trend of cybercrooks using malicious code to target retailers’ office systems and cash registers. Malware including RAM-scraping nasties such as Alina, BlackPOS, Dexter, JackPOS, VSkimmer and their variants are been planted using either “drive-by-download” and remote hacking of administration channels. This malware is then used to lift sensitive information from compromised systems. For example, a variant of the BlackPOS was reportedly used in the final phase of the multi-stage attack against US retail giant Target.
The estimated 40 million credit card records from the Target breach have subsequently been offered up for sale through underground hacking forums and the sheer volume of information has had the effect of pushing down the cost of compromised details, as a blog post by security researchers at McAfee explains. ®