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Digital Attack Strikes 201 Online Campus Stores

online credit card fraud

A digital attack recently hit 201 online campus stores, all running the same checkout software. A cybercrime group injected a version of Magecart, first reported by Trend Micro, into campus store websites to scrape credit card and other customer data during checkout, which was then sent to a remote server. All of the colleges and universities affected were running PrismWeb, an e-commerce platform designed specifically for college stores by PrismRBS. None of the institutions involved have been named.

Trend Micro disclosed its findings to PrismRBS in late April, which, according to a statement PrismRBS issued, "immediately took action to halt the current attack, initiated an investigation, engaged an external IT forensic firm to assist in our review [and] notified law enforcement and payment card companies." PrismRBS said it has also reached out to customers that have been hit.

This version of the Magecart attacks, named Mirrorthief by the security company, apparently forged a Google Analytics script, but then loaded its own script, which was responsible for stealing the payment information, according to an explanation by Trend Micro.

"To defend against this type of threat, website owners should regularly check and strengthen their security with patches and server segregation," advised Trend Micro. "Site owners should also employ robust authentication mechanisms, especially for those that store and manage sensitive data. IT and security teams should restrict or disable outdated components, and habitually monitor websites and applications for any indicators of suspicious activity that could lead to data exfiltration, execution of unknown scripts, or unauthorized access and modification."

PrismRBS was formed last year when Nebraska Book Company and the Collegiate Retail Alliance merged their point-of-sale and enterprise resource planning businesses.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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