IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Hackers use Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites with software skimmer

Cyber criminals in China control the malware

Small shopping cart on a keyboard

Security researchers have revealed a new hacking campaign that installs a Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites after deploying a credit card skimmer on merchant websites.

Researchers from the Sansec Threat Research Team discovered a new malicious agent “linux_avp” that hides as a system process on e-commerce servers. They said hackers have been deploying this malware worldwide since last week, and it takes commands from a control server in Beijing.

In the campaign, hackers started automated e-commerce attack probes, testing for dozens of weaknesses in common online store platforms.

“After a day and a half, the attacker found a file upload vulnerability in one of the store’s plugins. S/he then uploaded a webshell and modified the server code to intercept customer data,” said researchers.

Researchers said hackers then uploaded the linux_avp malware, which is a Golang program that starts, removes itself from disk, and disguises as a fake ps -ef process.

“Analysis of linux_avp suggests that it serves as a backdoor, waiting for commands from a Beijing (Alibaba) hosted server,” said researchers. The backdoor also revealed where the user, known as "dob" built the backdoor in a project folder lin_avp, using code name GREECE.

Related Resource

Protecting every edge to make hackers’ jobs harder, not yours

How to support and secure hybrid architectures

White square with whitepaper title on top of a background image of a building and pavementFree download

The malware also injects a malicious crontab entry to ensure access in case that the process is removed or the server rebooted. The crontab downloads the Golang malware executable to a random writable directory and installs two configuration files. “One contains a public key, which is presumably used to ensure that no one, but the malware owner can launch commands,” researchers added.

This case has another Chinese connection, according to researchers, as a line was added to the e-commerce platform code called app/design/frontend/favicon_absolute_top.jpg, which contains PHP code to retrieve a fake payment form and inject it in the store. Researchers said the IP for this was hosted in Hong Kong and was previously observed as a skimming exfiltration endpoint in July and August of this year.

Researchers said, at the time of writing, no other antivirus vendor had recognized the malware.

“Curiously, one individual had submitted the same malware to Virustotal on Oct 8th with the comment “test”. This was just one day after the successful breach of our customer’s store,” said researchers.

They added that the person uploading the malware could very well be the malware author, who wanted to assert that common antivirus engines will not detect their creation.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Twilio account breach result of sophisticated social engineering campaign
Security

Twilio account breach result of sophisticated social engineering campaign

9 Aug 2022
Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover
Security

Over 200,000 DrayTek routers vulnerable to total device takeover

3 Aug 2022
Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum
Security

Data on 69 million Neopets users stolen and listed for sale on hacker forum

21 Jul 2022
HackerOne employee fired for using position to steal bug bounties
Security

HackerOne employee fired for using position to steal bug bounties

4 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022