Security Experts:

Attackers Disguise Malware as Magento Patch

Cybercriminals are exploiting an old vulnerability in the Magento ecommerce platform to compromise online shops and steal sensitive information, using a piece of malware disguised as the patch designed to address the flaw.

In February 2015, Magento developers released the SUPEE-5344 patch to fix a critical remote code execution vulnerability dubbed the “shoplift bug.” The security hole is comprised of a chain of weaknesses, including authentication bypass, SQL injection, and remote file inclusion flaws.

More than two months after the patch was released, Dutch hosting firm Byte reported that tens of thousands of Magento installations had still been vulnerable. A series of attacks spotted recently by researchers at Sucuri indicate that there are still many unpatched shops.

The security firm discovered compromised Magento websites hosting a piece of malware that pretends to be the applied SUPEE-5344 patch. The threat is designed to give malicious actors complete control over a vulnerable Magento website by exploiting the “shoplift bug.”

According to Sucuri, the malware is more sophisticated compared to other threats that target Magento installations. Code injected into the targeted site allows attackers to steal payment data and user credentials. The stolen information is encrypted, stored in a file disguised as a JPEG image and sent to pre-defined email addresses.

The targeted details include credit card data, usernames, passwords, IP addresses and server names. The credentials stored in Magento-powered site databases can be used by cybercrooks to access other online accounts because many individuals set the same password on multiple services, Sucuri said.

In addition to stealing valuable information, the threat also includes a series of backdoor functions that allow cybercriminals to execute arbitrary code on the server, change the permissions of Magento files, and delete the file storing the stolen data after it’s no longer needed.

“As we can see, the Magento malware ecosystem is maturing and attracting more hackers, and they’re bringing their arsenal of tried and true tricks and methods from WordPress and Joomla! malware with them,” explained Denis Sinegubko, senior malware researcher at Sucuri. “The growing market share of Magento ecommerce sites (#1 CMS in ecommerce and #4 CMS overall) and potential access to money flows, make attacks even with low success rates worthwhile.”

Last month, Magento developers released a security update to resolve more than 20 vulnerabilities, including ones rated critical that can be exploited to take over e-commerce sites.

*Updated to clarify that the malware has not been distributed as a fake patch and instead it pretends to be an applied patch on the infected website. The title has been changed to reflect this. 

Related: Zero-Day Flaw in Magento Tool Exploited in the Wild

Related: Thousands of Magento Sites Abused for Malware Distribution

view counter
Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.