Popular Messaging App Telegram Used to Exfiltrate Payment Cards in Digital Card Skimming Scheme
Cybercriminals are using a new variation of a common credit card skimming attack. Messaging app Telegram is being exploited as a gate to exfiltrate the stolen payment card numbers and customer details. The stolen data is skimmed from eCommerce websites that are compromised by malware. The shopper does not notice anything strange during the checkout process. The website owner is usually unaware that something has infected their online checkout.
In this scheme payment details including card numbers, customer name, address, credit card number, expiry, and security code (CVV) are posted on a private Telegram channel as an instant message.
“Unaware shoppers may visit a merchant that has been compromised with a web skimmer and make a purchase while unknowingly handing over their credit card data to criminals,” says a report by cyber security researchers at Malwarebytes.
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Credit Card Skimming
Credit card skimming takes place when hackers compromise in eCommerce website with malicious computer code known as malware. The malware records and steals the user’s credit card information and other details as a shopper enters their payment information while shopping online. The shopper completes their purchase unaware that something is wrong. The transaction completes normally. However, the malware also sends the payment information to an internet destination of the hackers choosing.
MageCart is a common credit card skimming malware in use as a RAS Model. In June of this year, popular jewelry retailer Claire’s was compromised by MageCart. The malware harvested credit cards for six weeks before it was discovered.
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Once the payment details are harvested, it must be sent somewhere that the hacker can access them. This is called a gate. In this version of a credit card skimming attack, the malware posts the shopper’s payment details to a Telegram channel controlled by the hacker. The hackers can receive a notification every time a new stolen credit card has been posted.
A gate is an online location – commonly a compromise domain name our IP address – where hackers son stolen date . The hacker might set up their own gate or like in this case they may compromise other online resources and exploit them as part of their scheme.
What is the Telegram app used for?
Telegram is a popular messaging app that features optional end-to-end encryption. The app is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS and Linux users. Telegram users can send text and place voice callas as well as video calls. Developed in Russia, it is available in multiple languages. Telegram Messenger LLP is now a nonprofit company based in Berlin, Germany
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Is Telegram safe to use?
Telegram is safe to use even though cyber criminals sometimes use it for malicious purposes. of course, if you subscribe to a channel you should be sure that the content is legal and legitimate. Always be careful about clicking on links in group chats, SMS text messages, emails, and on social media. Although mobile devices are harder to infect with malware, phots, videos, location data, and even payment card information can be exfiltrated from mobile apps and devices.
Telegram is more secure than WhatsApp to use.
How to defend against this credit card skimming theft
Although it is possible for a website to block the Telegram API from communicating with the store, the hackers can quickly switch to any other messaging app or website to use as a gate. Malwarebytes Browser Guard will identify and block this specific skimming attack without disabling or interfering with the use of Telegram or its API.