What Is Formjacking?

Formjacking is a clever type of cyberattack that can occur when online criminals hack into a website to gain control over its entry point where sensitive information is provided. This type of hack is most commonly associated with cybercriminals who seek to steal credit card details, and other various forms of payment methods, as well as personal information such as phone numbers and home addresses that could possibly lead to identity theft. With technology and globalization exponentially growing at a rapid rate unlike any other time, it’s important to know how to detect and protect yourself from sophisticated hacks that can originate from anywhere in the world. 

How Does Formjacking Occur?

In order for these cybercriminals to gain access over these vulnerable sites, they essentially must take over a website’s form page which is where most sensitive logins, passwords, and identification numbers are entered. Essentially, formjacking occurs when malicious JavaScript code is injected into the site to provide cybercriminals with complete control and functionality over a website. Once control has been seized, the site will operate as normal, from the perspective of the visitor where they will continue to provide all of their personal information, unknowingly into the hands of thieves. What’s unfortunate is that these hacks may go unnoticed to the provider as well as the customer which dangerously invites thieves into these private and “secure” spaces. The information that these criminals retain from these unaware consumers, are then either used to process purchases of their own or the information from these individuals are sold to various bidders who seek to develop larger and more developed identity scams. Some of the biggest cases of formjacking have occurred with large e-commerce businesses. A common approach that these cybercriminals take is by infiltrating a provider on the supply chain of these companies. Finding vulnerable spots and then sliding their foot into the door to get to at the heart of operations. 

Who’s A Target For Formjacking

The victims of formjacking can vary but essentially, if your business accepts payments online, you are subject to a cyberattack by way of formjacking. If you have a smaller business that operates an online store, then you may be even more susceptible to a cyberattack. As mentioned earlier however, the most common point of entry for a formjacking attack is through the supply chain which can provide leeway and access if security is not a high priority.  

How To Detect Formjacking

It’s evident that customers are typically the last ones to know when a website’s security has been compromised. Especially if individuals have been loyal customers to their service providers, they won’t have a reason to not trust these companies with their private and sensitive information. Unfortunately, however, this digital world is constantly evolving and with advanced technology, comes advanced hacking.

How To Prevent Formjacking

E-commerce businesses must be very keen and aware of the threats that plague their industry. Having a security system is one step in protecting businesses from these attacks but it’s also important to know what exactly to look for. Not all malicious code inserted into a website will automatically be detected. In fact, these hackers know exactly how to manipulate these systems to insert code that can only be detected through a manual search. Thus it is essential to not only have an advanced security system, but for a designated team to routinely check and assess that there are no imminent threats or hacks affecting their companies vulnerabilities. 

Know The Threats

One of the more well known culprits of these formjacking attacks comes from the infamous attack group, Magecart. Since 2015, this online criminal organization has been responsible for some of the biggest cyberattacks on companies around the world. Such attacks like the ones that have affected British Airways, Newegg, and Ticketmaster. What’s even more interesting is that this organization is made up of seven smaller groups and intentionally targets supply chains to gain full access to businesses and their websites.

Tips To Protect Your Business Against Formjacking 

  • Monitor Outbound Traffic: A preliminary way to assess the security on your site is by monitoring your site’s outbound traffic. If you begin to pick up on unknown sources that data is being transferred to, then that can be an early detection that requires further investigation into your sites code. 
  • Perform Routine Audits: While a cyberattack can happen to any business and at anytime, it’s essential that you know what to look for to ensure that everything is performing normally. Frequently reviewing your website’s code is extremely necessary as formjacking can be known as an undetectable hack. You may not realize your security has been compromised until it is too late.
  • Assess Third-Party Applications: This is where Magecart has been known to expose a website’s fragility and take advantage of the information that’s divulged from this hack. You entrust third party applications to handle various aspects of your business but need to verify that their security is reliable and just as aware of formjacking and other common cyberattacks.