Credit Card Malware Found Within Social Media Buttons

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Multiple reports highlight a growing trend in the world of credit card and identity theft. Cybersecurity experts warn consumers to be vigilant for a form of cutting-edge “skimming” via credit card malware in website social media buttons. Here is what you need to know:

Magecart Credit Card Malware Script Targets Social Media Icons

Web skimmer groups are becoming more creative with ways to steal the credit card details and personal information of everyday consumers. A new approach involves adding malware to images within social media sharing buttons on online stores.

“Online payment thieves developed a new method to hide payment skimmers in perfectly legitimate social media icons,” Joost Spanjerberg, a SanSec malware researcher, told Fox News in an email.

According to ZDNet, this malware is known as a Magecart script, or a skimmer. Dutch cybersecurity experts, SanSec, first spotted it in September. The technical aspect of this Magecart script is known as Steganography. This process involves hiding the malicious script within another format, thereby making it harder to detect.

An Uncommon Approach for Scammers

The good news? This skimmer, the Magecart script, does not appear often, according to cybersecurity experts. The most common malware takes the form of scripts hidden in JPG or PNG image files. However, this new skimmer hides within SVG files – commonly used for social media icons.

“Scanners Can No Longer Find Malware”

“While skimmers have added their malicious payload to benign files like images in the past, this is the first time that malicious code has been constructed as a perfectly valid image. The result is that security scanners can no longer find malware just by testing for valid syntax,” SanSec told ZDNet.

Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud

A large number of Americans will likely fall victim to credit card fraud every year. While data breaches hold as the most common method to steal credit card information, skimmers and other malware continue to pose a significant risk. For advice on how to protect yourself from credit card fraud, check out our comprehensive article, Ten Ways to Stay Protected Against Credit Card Fraud.

Related Article: Coronavirus Causes Increased Credit Card Skimmer Risks

Featured photo by Tumisu / PixaBay

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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