GiftGhostBot Scares up Victims' Gift-card Cash with Brute-force Attacks

March 27, 2017

Software nasty can burn through 1.7 million account numbers per hour

Cybercrooks are using a bot to automate the process of breaking into and draining online gift card accounts.

The software nasty, named GiftGhostBot, attempts to steal cash from money-loaded gift cards provided by a variety of retailers around the globe, according to Distil Networks.

Any website – from luxury retailers to supermarkets to major coffee distributors – with gift card processing capabilities could be a target. Distil has seen this attack on almost 1,000 websites since it first detected it late last month.

Fraudsters are using the bespoke cybercrime tool to generate lists and lists of account numbers, and request the balance for each number. Whenever this brute-force attack throws up an actual balance, rather than an error or zero, the account number is automatically logged.

The criminals can then either resell these confirmed account numbers on the dark web or use them to purchase goods. There appears to be no other authentication involved: just the digits you'd find on the card, which can be guessed by software. GiftGhostBots are being distributed across worldwide hosting providers, mobile ISPs, and data centers, executing JavaScript mimicking a normal browser to avoid detection.

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Cyber-thieves Using GiftGhostBot to Steal Gift Card Balances
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GiftGhostBot Tries to Steal 1.7 Million Gift Cards Per Hour
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