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Magecart Attack on WooCommerce: Best Guide

The Cybercriminals who were stealing credit card details have now turned their attention to a WordPress plugin known as WooCommerce. Its happens with the assistance of a digital skimming code called Magecart attack.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress website to enable you to have an online store.

With this, your WordPress website turns into a fully functional e-commerce website, just by a few clicks.

The Magecart Attack

Magecart attack is a digital skimming attack. Where in attackers capture sensitive information such as credit card numbers, E-mail addresses, passwords, etc. from online payment gateways.

Magecart attack injects a certain malicious code into such websites to steal sensitive information as payers enter credentials into the checkout page.

How does the Magecart attack work in Woocommerce?

Step-1. Accessing the website and inserting skimming code.

There are two ways through which the Magecart hackers strike the targeted website.

I. Smashing the Infrastructure or destroying the backend system and injecting a skimming code. Skimming code is a JavaScript / PHP code.

II. Attacking the third-party tag and inserting the malicious code.

At the same time, the third-party vendors that are easily penetrable will be prioritized by the Magecart hackers.

Step-2. Retrieving personal information from the checkout page.

There are many unique ways followed by hackers. The most common one being, inject a skimming code in the websites. This code continuously monitors the actions of the users, including their keypress. Then, the code is carefully skimmed.

Step-3. Using the attacked data wherever they wanted.

Injecting such code enables them to collect sensitive data from users. The collected personal data is then utilized by hackers for their personal gain.

So this attack should be seriously detected.

Why should we know about the Magecart attack now?

People are isolated because of Covid-19 pandemic. As the physical stores remain closed, online shopping has seen a great boom in business.

Hence, there are lots of chances that a number of customers fall prey to the Magecart attack. This is Cybercriminals’ time!

What do Magecart attackers do in Woocommerce?

You should know about Web scraping also. Web scrapping means web data extraction, is the process of retrieving or “scraping” data from a website.

Magecart attackers target WordPress E-Commerce sites and execute their vicious plans by injecting a JavaScript / PHP Script skimming code that redirects payments to illegitimate accounts.

The Cybercriminals take advantage of the website, modify the code and create a new version.

The modified code carries malicious ware.

The criminals inject this malware across thousands of websites.

Beware of Skimming

Skimming activity normally increases during specific seasons that create additional traffic to online shopping platforms.

During the Black Friday sale, Christmas season, etc., there is normally a noticeable increase in the usage of these websites. Now, a series of lockdowns have created a similar situation thereby resulting in increased attacks by hackers.

What others have to say?

Yonathan Klijnsma, head of threat research at the security firm RiskIQ, says the company has detected a 20 percent increase in online skimming activity in March when compared to February.

As reported by Bleeping Computer, security researcher Max Kersten collected, in a span of a few weeks, over 1000 domains infected with payment card skimmers, showing that the Magecart continues to be a prevalent threat that preys on insecure online shopping platforms.

Mitigating the Magecart Attack

It can be done by, both consumers visiting the website and the website owners.

(i) Website owners can implement a website monitoring policy. These policies are capable of detecting actual time tampering.

(ii) Using a Zero-trust approach toward the third-party, JavaScript will enable the online business owners to detect all unauthorized admission of any JavaScript code.

(iii) It is better to minimize third-party code usage. It definitely reduces the leakage of data.

In Closing…

We have discussed the magecart attack on Woocommerce site. Though eradication of the Magecart attack risk is impossible, it can surely be minimized. For that, just be aware of digital skimming.

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