We uncovered a recent activity involving the notorious online credit card skimming attack known as Magecart. The attack, facilitated by a new cybercrime group, impacted 201 online campus stores in the United States and Canada.
We started detecting the attacks against multiple campus store websites on April 14, during which the sites were injected with a malicious skimming script (detected by Trend Micro as Trojan.JS.MIRRORTHEIF.AA) at their payment checkout pages. The skimming script can scrape credit card information, as well as personal details entered on the payment page. The stolen information is consequently sent to a remote server. After looking into this attack, we learned that the attackers compromised PrismWeb, which is an e-commerce platform designed for college stores by company PrismRBS, a subsidiary of Nebraska Book Company.
We disclosed our findings to PrismRBS. The company has since released an official statement regarding the skimming attack: “On April 26, 2019, PrismRBS became aware that an unauthorized third-party obtained access to some of our customers’ e-commerce websites that PrismRBS hosts. Upon learning of this incident, we immediately took action to halt the current attack, initiated an investigation, engaged an external IT forensic firm to assist in our review, notified law enforcement and payment card companies. Our investigation is ongoing to determine the scope of the issue, including who and what information may have been impacted. Based on our review to date, we have determined that an unauthorized party was able to install malicious software designed to capture payment card information on some of our customers’ e-commerce websites.
We are proactively notifying potentially impacted customers to let them know about the incident, the steps we are taking to address the situation, and steps they can take to protect their end users. We deeply regret any concern or frustration this incident may cause. Protecting the security and privacy of information remains a top priority. We are taking steps to further strengthen the security of our systems, including enhanced client-side and back-end monitoring tools and a comprehensive end-to-end audit of our systems. Once our investigation concludes, we will be providing our customers with additional information and guidance.”
Since we can’t connect the said attack to any previous Magecart groups — even if the attack shared some similar characteristics with a few of them — we labeled this new group “Mirrorthief”.
Figure 1. Mirrorthief attack chain
Figure 2. Payment page of PrismWeb online store loads Mirrorthief’s skimming script
Figure 3. Mirrorthief injection on PrismWeb checkout payment’s library
How Mirrorthief performs their skimming activities
On April 14, the attackers injected a script to the payment checkout libraries used by the PrismWeb platform. The location of injected payment checkout libraries on affected online stores were:
- hxxps://[online store domain]/innerweb/v4.0/include/js/checkout_payment[.]js
- hxxps://[online store domain]/innerweb/v3.1/include/js/checkout_payment[.]js
The injected script forged the Google Analytics script format, but loaded a different script from the attackers’ server. The loaded script is the main script that steals the payment information. Unlike many web skimmers, which are designed to collect information from many kinds of e-commerce payment pages in general, the skimmer that the Mirrorthief group used was designed specifically for PrismWeb’s payment page. The skimmer collects data only from HTML elements with the specific IDs on PrismWeb’s payment form. The stolen credit card information includes card number, expiry date, card type, card verification number (CVN), and the cardholder’s name. The skimmer also steals personal information like addresses and phone numbers for billing.
|HTML Element ID||Mirrorthief JSON Data Schema||Information|
|_cc_number||aa||Credit card number|
|_cc_expmonth||bb||Credit card expiration month|
|_cc_expyear||cc||Credit card expiration year|
|cc_type||dd||Credit card type|
|_cc_cvn||ee||Credit card CVN number|
|cc_first_name||ff||First name of cardholder|
|cc_last_name||gg||Last name of cardholder|
|bill_to_phone||hh||Phone number for billing|
|bill_to_country||ii||Billing address (country)|
|bill_to_state||jj||Billing address (state)|
|bill_to_street1||kk||Billing address (street)|
|bill_to_street2||ll||Billing address (street)|
|bill_to_city||mm||Billing address (city)|
|bill_to_zip||nn||Billing address (zip code)|
Table 1. Sensitive data targeted by Mirrorthief’s skimmer
Figure 4. Mirrorthief skimming script copies payment information and encrypts it with AES encryption (deobfuscated)
Comparing Magecart-wielding groups
The Mirrorthief group made the injected script on the compromised libraries similar to legitimate Google Analytics script and registered their malicious domain (which also appears similar to the original Google Analytics domain) to disguise their activity. Impersonating the Google Analytics service is a known tactic also used by Magecart Group 11, the group behind the Vision Direct breach. Another group called ReactGet, which infected many e-commerce websites around the world, was also recently seen adopting a similar impersonation tactic.
|Magecart Group 11||AES||Gibberish-AES|
Table 2. Comparison of encryption algorithms used by the different groups
Figure 5. Magecart Group 11 injection pattern
Figure 6. ReactGet Group injection pattern
Figure 7. Mirrorthief Group injection pattern
Magecart has evolved its tactics and exposed many sites to skimming attacks over the years. Groups that employ this digital attack have been known to come up with new ways to stay undetected on the sites they compromise. To defend against this type of threat, website owners should regularly check and strengthen their security with patches and server segregation. Site owners should also employ robust authentication mechanisms, especially for those that store and manage sensitive data. IT and security teams should restrict or disable outdated components, and habitually monitor websites and applications for any indicators of suspicious activity that could lead to data exfiltration, execution of unknown scripts, or unauthorized access and modification.
The following Trend Micro solutions, powered by XGen security, protect users and businesses by blocking the scripts and preventing access to the malicious domains:
- Trend Micro Security
- Smart Protection Suites and Worry-Free Business Security
- Trend Micro Network Defense
- Hybrid Cloud Security
Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)
|30c8be0d9deb59d98f7e047579763559f2c2dd9a7b4477636afcbebaaebc7dc5||Mirrorthief skimming script hash (detected as Trojan.JS.MIRRORTHEIF.AA)|
|cloudmetric-analytics[.]com||Mirrorthief malicious domain|
|hxxps://cloudmetric-analytics[.]com/ga[.]js||Mirrorthief malicious URL|
|hxxps://cloudmetric-analytics[.]com/analytics[.]js||Mirrorthief malicious URL|
|hxxps://cloudmetric-analytics[.]com/analytic[.]php?ccm_post=||Mirrorthief malicious URL|
|hxxps://g-analytics[.]com/libs/analytics[.]js||Magecart Group 11 malicious URL|
|hxxps://ebitbr[.]com/api[.]js||ReactGet Group malicious URL|
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Author: Joseph C Chen (Fraud Researcher)