Physical credit card skimmers aren’t new and while they can be disguised, it is relatively easy to spot it if you know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it seems that credit card skimmers have gone virtual where according to a report from Malwarebytes, it appears that hackers are now hiding these virtual skimmers inside the metadata of images on compromised online storefronts.
The concept of hiding malicious code within image files isn’t exactly new, but this could possibly be the first time that researchers have seen this concept used to hide virtual credit card skimmers. According to the researchers at Malwarebytes, this code seems to be commonly found on favicons (these are icons you see on browser tabs to depict the website that’s in the tab).
When used together with a compromised storefront, it would allow the hacker to steal information from the user such as their name, address, as well as credit card information. For now, it seems that hackers are targeting the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress due to it having a pretty large market share.
While stealing credit card information isn’t a new hack, the fact that hackers have found a new way to hide their activity has made it much more dangerous, so do keep this in mind the next time you shop online.