Magecart hackers are expanding their operations

Pierluigi Paganini October 05, 2019

Cybercrime gangs under the Magecart umbrella continue to compromise e-commerce platforms to steal payment card data from users worldwide.

Hacker groups under the Magecart umbrella continue to target to steal payment card data with so-called software skimmers. Security firms have monitored the activities of a dozen groups at least since 2010

According to a joint report published by RiskIQ and FlashPoint, some groups are more advanced than others, in particular, the gang tracked as Group 4 appears to be very sophisticated.

The list of victims of the groups is long and includes several major platforms such as British AirwaysNeweggTicketmasterMyPillow and Amerisleep, and Feedify

Millions of Magecart instances were detected over time, security experts discovered tens of software skimming scripts.

In a report recently published by RiskIQ, experts estimate that the group has impacted millions of users. RiskIQ reports a total of 2,086,529 instances of Magecart detections, most of them are supply-chain attacks.

“Suppliers can include vendors that integrate with sites to add or improve site functionality or cloud resources from which websites pull code, such as Amazon S3 Buckets. These third-parties integrate with thousands of websites” states the report.

Magecart group tracked as MG5 (Group 5) appears to be the most sophisticated and prolific group. MG5 focuses on supply chain attacks, it is responsible for the hack of hundreds of websites and providers such as SociaPlus and Inbenta.

In June, the gang made the headlines again, after infecting over 17,000 domains by targeting improperly secured Amazon S3 buckets

Recently, IBM researchers observed one of the MG5 group 5 using malicious code to inject into commercial-grade layer 7 L7 routers.

According to RiskIQ, many groups under the umbrella still focus on e-commerce sites powered with the Magento shopping or OpenCart platform.


Following a consolidated pattern of attack that is common in the hacking community, Magecart attempt to exploit vulnerabilities that the victims have yet to patch even is security updates have been released by Magento and other software vendors.

Attackers also look for new attack vectors to distribute their software skimming, such as compromising creative ad script tags to leverage digital ad networks to generate traffic to their skimmers and hit thousands of sites at once.

RiskIQ report revealed that of all malicious advertisements it has analyzed, the 17% is associated with the Magecart groups.

Below other interesting insights included in the report:

  • 17% of all Malvertisements detected by RiskIQ contain Magecart skimmers
  • The average length of a Magecart breach is 22 days with many lasting years, or even indefinitely.
  • Shopping platforms such as Magento and OpenCart are the lifeblood of many Magecart groups. RiskIQ has detected 9,688 vulnerable Magento hosts.
  • Magecart infrastructure is vast, with 573 known C2 domains, and 9,189 hosts observed loading C2 domains. 
  • Because Magecart skimmers stay on websites for so long, threat actors are purchasing Magecart infrastructure that’s gone offline to assume access to these breached sites. 

The full report, containing additional insights and information, is available for download here:

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – software skimmers, hacking)

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