Security Experts:

New 'Chaes' Malware Targets Latin American E-Commerce Users

Cybereason Nocturnus security researchers have identified an active campaign focused on the users of a large e-commerce platform in Latin America.

Dubbed Chaes, the new threat is a multi-stage piece of malware designed to harvest sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and additional financial details. Chaes’ operators mainly focus on Brazilians who use the MercadoLivre e-commerce platform.

The malware has been designed to specifically target MercadoLivre’s payment page MercadoPago and harvest customer financial information from it. Chaes’ final payload is a Node.js information stealer.

In addition to stealing information from the victim’s browser, Chaes was designed to take screenshots, hook and monitor the Chrome browser, and collect other user information from the infected hosts.

The infection process, which begins with a phishing email carrying a .docx file, consists of multiple stages and includes the use of a template injection attack and LoLbins. Legitimate software, open source tools, and fileless parts that help the malware remain stealthy are also employed.

Still under development, the malware was created using several programming languages, including .NET , Delphi, JavaScript, VBScript, and Node.js.

Chaes, the security researchers say, is rapidly evolving, with several variants observed over the recent months. The malware operators have improved encryption and expanded the functionality of the final Node.js module, but maintain their focus on the MercadoLivre and MercadoPago websites.

“Threat actors put a great deal of time, resources and effort into choosing their targets for criminal operations such as this, and a return on their investment is always top of mind. Undoubtedly, the dramatic increase in the volume of online shopping transactions has not escaped their notice, so it’s not surprising to see new and ever-more sophisticated malware variants emerging to take advantage of the current circumstances,” said Lior Div, Cybereason co-founder and CEO.

Related: Inside the Rising Cybercrime Threat in Latin America

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