Researchers discover a point-of-sale malware written in VBScript

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In a time when attacks on payment systems seem to be growing in popularity, researchers with cyber intelligence company IntelCrawler have identified a new point-of-sale (POS) malware available for purchase on underground forums.

Using the Windows Management Interface and able to carry out anti-virus bypass techniques and system information collection, the 'Decebal' malware is operational based on only 400 lines of functional VBScript code, according to an IntelCrawler report, which adds that some phrases and text strings are written in Romanian.

Created by Microsoft, VBScript is an Active Scripting language based on Visual Basic.

“[Bad actors] install it on hacked servers and mask it as one of the scripts written on VBScript, as lots of tools and scripts for Windows system administrators are written in [VBScript],” Andrew Komarov, CEO at IntelCrawler, told SCMagazine.com on Thursday.

Although Komarov said IntelCrawler has only observed the malware on one compromised server, he explained, “It is absolutely full of options to extract tracks from RAM, as RAM-scraping malware [such as Dexter, Alina and BlackPOS] do, but it is very portable and small, and script-based.”

The Decebal malware, which was made available for purchase on Jan. 3, has a command-and-control for receiving data from POS devices that is written in just 44 lines of PHP code, according to the IntelCrawler report, which adds that the threat was not being picked up in anti-virus scans as of Jan. 12.  

At the end of December 2013, attackers used POS malware to steal 40 million cards from Target and a still undisclosed number of cards from Neiman Marcus. The details of each incident are still being investigated and it is unknown if the thefts are connected.

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