What is a JavaScript Sniffer?

A JavaScript Sniffer is a form of malware that is designed for attackers to steal financial data at the point of purchase through online stores. This subform of cyberattacks is an additional threat to the e-commerce industry and in particular websites that utilize the Magento platform for their online stores. JavaScript Sniffer employs malicious tactics to compromised websites and then begins to inject malicious code that will provide attackers with sensitive and financial user data. Once this information has been secured by attackers, that information is then encoded and transmitted with the potential to be used for fraud and theft. Within this framework, JavaScript Sniffer has various methods of attacking e-commerce websites and their vulnerabilities. 

JavaScript Sniffer Methods 

The methods of carrying out a JavaScript Sniffer all contain various forms of using malware as the catalyst to infiltrate e-commerce websites and extract financial data. While websites with any form of e-commerce stores are at risk, a JavaScript Sniffer can target content management systems as well. The challenge behind these methods are that they can go undetected and many stores using CMS platforms are susceptible to being attacked. An important observation to consider in regards to these attacks is that there are different hacking “families” that apply different techniques aimed to infiltrate online stores. Below are the common ways in which JavaScript Sniffer attacks can occur. 

  • G-Analytics Family: While attackers commonly inject malicious code in order to extract the sensitive data that they seek, there are identifiable techniques applied in order to receive such data. The G-Analytics group exercises a technique that injects malicious code into the e-commerce website as well as hacks the server-side scripts taking over the entire payment process. This form of JavaScript Sniffer attack allows for hackers to mimic and disguise their scripts to appear legitimate, which makes it incredibly difficult for developers to analyze and detect these attacks. 
  • MagentoName: Another common JavaScript Sniffer attack is carried out by a group called MagentoName. This group is known to take advantage of website vulnerabilities particularly with sites that operate from older versions of the Magento content management system. Through these vulnerabilities, attackers are then able to inject malicious code. These weaknesses are a huge advantage and without consistent updates prove to be a target for any website operating on this content management system. 

How to Prevent JavaScript Sniffer Attacks?

The best mechanism to prevent future JavaScript Sniffer attacks from occurring is to ensure that all updates are current and installed. Patches can prevent vulnerabilities from previous versions that may result in being a target for attackers. What’s extremely unfortunate about these JavaScript Sniffer attacks is that if once detected and removed, the risk for infiltration is not completely solved. The malicious code employed by a JavaScript Sniffer attack remains on a website’s code and has the potential to be reactivated if removed. This proves to be a very difficult form of malware that continues to demonstrate a long lifespan that creates a consistent threat against e-commerce websites. 

  • Supply chain breach