Online shopping is a phenomenon that is growing exponentially around the globe. This trend is leading companies of all sizes and sectors to adding an e-commerce section into their webpages in order to become digital businesses. However, there are many security risks involved in this new trend.

Given that hackers have also realized the opportunity that this scenario represents for them, coupled with the fact that more and more security companies are designing more efficient tools to contain the most common types of cyberattacks that we saw in 2018 (Cryptojacking and Ransomware among others) and the high value that credit card data has in the Black market, e-commerce websites are increasingly attracting hackers´s attention.

What is exactly a Formjacking attack?

A formjacking attack is the web version of placing a device into a physical ATM to steal the data of the cards that users enter into them.

Hackers introduce malicious JavaScript code into specific ecommerces to obtain the information that victims enter into certain fields or forms when making online purchases. Once the information is received, hackers can either use it to make fraudulent purchases or sell it on the black market.

This type of attack does not require any type of action on the part of the user. This is perhaps the most frightening thing of formjacking attacks. Victims do not know that they have been targeted until it is too late. The purchase is made without any problem. The surprise comes when victims check their account balance and discover that they have been charged for things they have not bought.

What types of e-commerce websites are being targeted? 

Any company engaged in online payments and e-commerce, regardless of its size and the sector in which it operates, is a potential victim. In general, those e-commerce that generate more traffic are more attractive. However, that is not an absolute rule. If an ecommerce does not generate much traffic, but it is easier to bypass its security perimeter, it could also be a good target.

We must not forget either all the organizations that collaborate with an e-commerce. If a hacker can compromise an external provider (commonly used by several e-commerce), the effect will then be exponential. Instead of infecting a single e-commerce, he will be able to compromise hundreds and even thousands of them.

How to protect your e-commerce and your customers from formjacking attacks

As we mentioned before, the worst thing about this type of attack is that victims do not know that they have been targeted until is too late. The website where they make the purchase operates normally and the purchase is made successfully. It is not even necessary for the user to download malicious software to fall into the trap. All that is needed is for a user to access a website and it is almost impossible to detect the scam until the charges are reflected in the account balance.

The victims have no way of knowing or suspecting that the ecommerce they are accessing has been compromised and the consequences for the ecommerce can be disastrous (a single attack could lead the ecommerce to bankruptcy if its customers lose confidence  in it).

Given the novelty and sophistication of these attacks, traditional security solutions can not offer organizations protection against them.  Currently, the only solution capable of solving this problem and offer protection against formjacking attacks is RITech, our web isolation technology.

By isolating web-based applications or business processes with RITech, we prevent hackers from directly accessing their code to manipulate it or use (already infected) external devices to compromise it

The proactive approach of RITech is the key. In a world where thousands of new forms of malware are designed every day, being one step behind hackers is not an acceptable solution. We must not wait for a new type of attack to make headlines or hit tens of thousands of victims to start thinking about how to deal with it.  We live in such a complex and changing environment that security solutions must  neutralize the element of surprise that gives hackers so much power. Only by being one step ahead of them can protection be guaranteed.

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