With cybercriminals not making as much from ransomware and cryptojacking, they have been focusing more on a strategy called “formjacking” to raise cash.
That's according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, which it issued on Wednesday (Feb. 20). The cybersecurity company analyzes data from its Global Intelligence Network, which records events from 123 million attack sensors worldwide, and blocks 142 million threats daily and monitors threat activities in more than 157 countries.
Symantec found that formjacking has become a preferred get-rich-quick scam among bad guys. With this attack, which is essentially virtual ATM skimming, cybercriminals inject malicious code into the websites of retailers to steal customers’ payment card details.
The company said that more than 4,800 websites are hit with formjacking code each month. Symantec said it blocked more than 3.7 million formjacking attacks on endpoints last year, with close to a third of all detections happening during the holiday shopping period, which takes place from November to December. The company noted that a number of well-known online retailers’ payment websites were compromised by formjacking code in the past few months, but small and medium-sized retailers were most targeted.
From a worldwide cyberattack perspective, Symantec said that conservatively, cybercriminals may have earned tens of millions of dollars in 2018 by stealing financial and personal information through credit card fraud and subsequent sales on the dark web. Ten stolen credit cards from each website that is compromised can result in up to $2.2 million each month. Symantec said a single credit card could get the cybercriminal $45 on the dark web.
“Formjacking represents a serious threat for both businesses and consumers,” said Greg Clark, CEO of Symantec, in a press release highlighting the results of the report. “Consumers have no way to know if they are visiting an infected online retailer without using a comprehensive security solution, leaving their valuable personal and financial information vulnerable to potentially devastating identity theft. For enterprises, the skyrocketing increase in formjacking reflects the growing risk of supply chain attacks, not to mention the reputational and liability risks businesses face when compromised.”