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 Thursday, 19th April 2012, 15:47:36

Cybercriminals sell malware targeted at hotels

Cybercriminals sell malware targeted at hotels

Fraudsters have been selling malware aimed at sealing credit card information from hotel systems, new research shows.

According to transaction security firm Trustee, criminals are using the underground market to flog a new attack code that unlawfully obtains credit card data from point of sale applications.

The remote access Trojan (RAT) is sold with set up instructions and advice on how to trick hospitality staff into installing the virus.

Trusteer's Amit Klein said that the RAT works by infecting hotel front desk computers and installing spyware that steals sensitive information, including card data, by capturing screen shots from the point of sale application.

What's more, it is undetectable by anti-virus programmes.

Yaron Dycian, Trusteer's vice president of products, told PCWorld that hotels make the perfect target because they typically have limited IT staff and knowledge of malware, and they handle a large volume of credit card payments on a daily basis.

"The fact that the RAT's creator decided to target the hospitality industry is consistent with a recently observed change in the focus of cybercriminals - an expansion from online banking attacks to attacks against PoS systems," he told the source.

While the spyware components of the malware are capable of stealing credit card numbers and expiration dates, they are currently unable to obtain the CVV2 number – the three-digit security code typically found on the back of the cards.

Unfortunately, some e-commerce merchants do process online shopping transactions without the code, especially in the US.

Also, the other data that the RAT picks up can be used to phish the CVV2 codes from the users themselves, or search for the codes in existing data dumps from old phishing attacks.

Mr Klein warned that the strength of this type of malware is its generic nature. As such, it can be used to attack many different applications and industries.

He attributed the shift to cybercriminals targeting point of sale machines to the fact that these applications are essentially "mini repositories" where information about many victims can be collected at once.

Posted by Phil Williams

High Availability, Highly secure Managed Hosting SolutionsADNFCR-1984-ID-801344289-ADNFCR

Categories:  |  Security  |  Application/OS/Software  |  

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