New point-of-sale malware distributed by Andromeda botnet

Attackers use spam to infect systems with the Andromeda backdoor and then deploy GamaPoS on select point-of-sale machines

Attackers infect point-of-sale terminals with malware

Attackers infect point-of-sale terminals with malware

Cybercriminals are casting increasingly wider nets in their search for new point-of-sale systems to infect. This appears to be the case with a new memory scraping malware program called GamaPoS that's distributed by a large botnet known as Andromeda.

GamaPoS was recently discovered by security researchers from antivirus vendor Trend Micro, who found systems infected with it inside organizations from 13 U.S. states and Vancouver, Canada.

The program is written in Microsoft's .NET, which is unusual for RAM scraping malware. These type of threats monitor the memory of point-of-sale systems for payment card data and steal it while it's being passed from the physical card readers to the commerce applications.

Attackers have historically infected PoS systems by stealing or guessing remote access credentials. However, the numerous PoS breaches at large retailers in recent years have prompted many organizations to secure their remote access procedures, making this attack vector less attractive for cybercriminals.

This would explain why the GamaPoS gang has taken a different approach. Instead of directly targeting PoS systems from the Internet they're going after them from inside the trusted internal networks of companies.

Their attacks start with spam, according to the Trend Micro researchers. They send rogue emails purporting to include PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance documents or updates for back office customer service systems from the Oracle Micros PoS suite.

The documents contain malicious macros -- automation scripts -- that install a backdoor program if allowed to execute. The infected systems then become part of the Andromeda botnet, which has been around since 2011 and has seen an increasing presence in the U.S. this year.

The attackers use the Andromeda backdoor to install GamaPoS on systems that are potential PoS targets.

"Rough estimates show us that GamaPOS may have only hit 3.8 percent of those affected by Andromeda," the Trend Micro researchers said in a blog post.

The attackers also use the backdoor to download specialized tools than can then be used to manually hack other systems from the networks of affected organizations.

GamaPoS infections have been found in a wide variety of industries, including companies that are in the business of pet care, theater, furniture wholesale, home health care, online retail and consumer electronics.

"Businesses that use Visa, Discovery, and Maestro (among other credit and debit cards) risk losing their customers' data to GamaPoS," the Trend Micro researchers warned.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags trend microsecuritydata breachmalwarefraud

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?