New attack campaign against SMBs uses a botnet to deliver PoS malware

A group of attackers uses the Gorynych botnet to deploy point-of-sale malware and steal payment card data

A group of sophisticated attackers are repurposing penetration testing tools to break into the networks of small and medium-size businesses worldwide with the goal of infecting point-of-sale systems with malware.

The new attack campaign started in September and has been dubbed operation Black Atlas by researchers from antivirus vendor Trend Micro. The attackers use a wide set of tools to scan the Internet and identify potential weak spots in the networks of various organizations, the researchers said.

Their toolset includes port scanners, brute-force password guessing tools, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) scanners, remote desktop viewers and other attack applications that are easy to find on the Internet.

"Networks with weak password practices are likely to fall victim to this initial penetration testing stage," the Trend Micro researchers said in a blog post.

If the attackers manage to break in, they use additional malware and tools to move laterally across the network and compromise PoS systems. While doing this, they steal various credentials along the way, including email and Facebook passwords.

Once they have access to a PoS system, the attackers install a so-called memory scraping program. These are malware applications that scan the system's RAM for payment card details that are passed from the card reader to the retail software.

The Trend Micro researchers have seen the Black Atlas attackers using multiple PoS malware programs including Alina, NewPOSThings and BlackPOS. The latter was also used in the 2013 attack against Target that resulted in the compromise of around 40 million payment card details.

Because BlackPOS does not have an online data exfiltration method and instead saves the card details to a local text file, the Black Atlas attackers are combining it with a botnet-type backdoor program known as Gorynych or Diamond Fox.

"Gorynych now grabs that text file and does an HTTP POST to complete the data exfiltration," the Trend Micro researchers said. The same botnet is also used to deploy BlackPOS in the first place.

The attackers have compromised businesses around the world, including an unnamed healthcare organization in the U.S., which allowed Trend Micro to perform a deeper analysis. The most affected countries are the U.S., Australia, India, Taiwan, Germany and the U.K.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?