Cyber-thieves Using GiftGhostBot to Steal Gift Card Balances

March 27, 2017

Security vendor Distil Networks announced on March 24 that it has discovered an automated bot it is calling GiftGhostBot that is being used to steal retail gift card balances in a global attack.

To date, Distil has seen GiftGhostBot attack approximately 1,000 customer websites, though the actual number of sites impacted globally could be significantly more. The total financial impact from the GiftGhostBot attack isn't known yet either.

"We can't determine an exact dollar amount because we don't know the value of the gift cards themselves," Rami Essaid, CEO of Distil Networks, told eWEEK. "We have to go based on what our clients are telling us and other outside sources.

"With that said, it's safe to say that over the past few years, there have been tens of millions of dollars lost to gift card fraud," he added.

Distil is labeling GiftGhostBot as an advanced persistent bot (APB) as it is sophisticated, steadily evolving and very aggressive. Distil first detected GiftGhostBot on Feb. 26 after investigating an issue a customer raised. Distil is in the business of defending websites against bot attacks. In a 2016 video interview with eWEEK, Essaid explained how his company's platform works.

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