With a scary online attack tactic, Magecart has compromised a staggering number of e-commerce websites in the recent past. The ramifications of these cyberattacks are fatal for the businesses concerned. Customers lose trust in a website when there is a data breach.

With its malicious claws deep into the client-side browser, this attack opens the front door to customer information, and attackers use skimming methods to capture sensitive information.

To fight skimming attacks by Magecart, you need to know everything about them. So, here we go.

What Happens in a Magecart Attack?

If an e-commerce website has security issues, the client-side vulnerabilities can be high. It gives cyber intruders a target to compromise data integrity, steal sensitive information, and impact financial transactions on your website. They add a skimming code to legit files, and this code pulls data related to financial transactions through the client-side browser and sends it to hackers’ servers.

Here’s how the Magecart skimming works.

  1. Starts with Access to the Website

The cyber attackers can gain access to your website either by breaking into your web infrastructure or accessing any of your third-party vendors. They can place a skimming code in your infrastructure/server or infect the JavaScript of a third-party vendor to run a malicious program on your site via this link.

Due to the increased leverage on third-party services, websites have become more vulnerable to such attacks. Since browsers cannot deny access to these scripts, they can be accessed at any point.

Most importantly, third-party codes can go undetected since they do not run through the internal security of your web assets.

  1. Skims Sensitive Data through a Form

Once the attackers have access to your website or third-party code, they place a skimmer code to pull sensitive data. There are different ways to capture this data. A skimming code is their best bet because it is a type of JavaScript that senses personal information and captures it.

Skimming can take place through key login, where JavaScript listens to potential key down events to filter the information it needs. Another method is sniffing the form submissions and requesting the fields on the form. Form jacking or swapping a real field in the form with an infected file is also a method of skimming used by cyber attackers.

  1. Sends Information to Hacker Sources

After scraping the sensitive data, hackers send this information to their sources. They can use GET, POST, or image requests for this purpose. The data is disguised as a legitimate source and shared on the Darknet, where it can be purchased or misused by online fraudsters.

How Can You Stop These Attacks?

Retailers need to understand that their website may be targeted by Magecart groups at any time. The technologies for hacking are evolving, and older versions of websites are at a higher risk. Hence, you should always update your software and audit your systems regularly.

You cannot rely on traditional security mechanisms like firewalls or SSLs to protect your site from these attacks. Choose an enterprise website security platform that profiles the scripts on your website using AI-driven analytics.