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Rahul Thadani
How Point of Sale (PoS) Malware Steals Credit Card Data
July 17, 2015

The Quick Heal Quarterly Threat Report for the second quarter of 2015 indicated a massive rise in the number of malware samples that afflicted the Windows platform across the world. This trend can be attributed to the fact that malware authors have started propagating their malicious software variants to all corners of the globe, and also the fact that a lot of people still operate their PCs without effective antivirus software and with unpatched operating systems and software.

windows malware detections

windows malware categories

In the months of April, May and June 2015, the Quick Heal Threat Research Labs received many Windows malware samples, and these are highlighted in the complete report which is now available. Moreover, it was also found that a majority of detections occurred on 32-bit machines. This has led us to believe that people looking to buy new machines should consider purchasing 64-bit machines as these have fewer malware threats in proportion.

Some other categories of Windows malware that were detected were found over the following categories:

  • Ransomware
  • Adware
  • Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs)
  • Infectors
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Exploit kits
  • Point of Sale (PoS) malware

Key findings of the Quick Heal Threat Report Q2, 2015 for Windows

  • Over the Windows platform, Quick Heal detected around 65 million malware samples per month in the second quarter of 2015.
  • Moreover, we have found that 74% of Windows malware samples detected run on 32-bit machines. In most cases, these in-the-wild variants are not supported on 64-bit systems.
  • In Q2, 2015 the most number of malware threats were detected in the Trojan category. Trojans enter vulnerable machines through trusted software or downloads, or other propagation techniques.
  • The most common malware sample detected was LNK.Exploit.Gen, which constituted 26% of the total samples.
  • Adware and Malvertising remain top attack vectors for malware authors and malicious software samples. Adware samples are also expected to use browser hijacking techniques in the near future.
  • New Point of Sale (PoS) malware families have also been found in Q2 2015 and these steal debit/credit card details from PoS terminals of merchants.
  • Threat authors have moved their attention to the banking sector and common banking Trojans are expected to make use of spear phishing emails, social engineering tactics, and RAT (Remote Access Control) tools for remotely controlling ATM machines.

Future trends for Windows malware over the coming months

Adware: Unwanted caretaker

Online ads are getting more personal and the Internet browsing habits of users are under the radar of malware authors. They use this monitoring to deliver ads that carry malicious intent and this process is known as Malvertising. This is done without the consent or knowledge of users and going forward, browser hijacking tricks are going to come under the spotlight. This will enable malware authors to collect personal data and browsing habits of victims more accurately.

Ransomware: More variants, more encryption, more profits

Ransomware has become a very profitable business model for attackers and this trend will continue further. Old ransomware variants are also expected to come back with new modifications. The recent wave of crypto-ransomware samples showcased advanced evasion and encryption tricks and their ability to attack cloud storage services is also expected to take place. Targeting specific industry sectors like banking, healthcare and education is another possible source of income for ransomware writers.

Spamming to continue as an effective infection vector

Most of the ransomware variants encountered in Q2 2015 spread and propagated via spam emails and had improved security evasion and bypass techniques. CryptoWall 3.0 and CRYPVAULT crypto-ransomware are two such ransomware samples that employed noticeable techniques. Such samples are expected to use malicious JavaScript files and complex obfuscation tricks to evade detection from security software. Once done, they will also connect to remote C&C servers and download additional malicious payloads.

More specific banking Trojans

Threat authors have now moved their attention and efforts to the banking sector, as this is a home for money. So, malware families with more advanced techniques are expected to hit machines soon. Spear phishing emails and social engineering tactics can also be used as carriers for delivering banking malware to organizations. The use of RAT (Remote Access Control) tools for remotely controlling ATM machines is also expected to lead to the exposure of sensitive card data.

The Quick Heal Quarterly Threat Report Q2, 2015 goes into the details of the popular malware samples over the Windows platform. The number of samples involved is very large and this is a cause for concern not just for users, but for security service providers as well. This makes the need for security awareness and effective security measures greater than ever.

You can also read about the key highlights of the Android threat report here.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rahul Thadani
About Rahul Thadani
Rahul is a web enthusiast and blogger, and has been writing about the computer security industry for the last three years. Following the latest technology trends,...
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79 Comments

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  1. I am using Quickheal. What care do I have to take.

    Reply
    • Hi Paras,

      My two suggestions are:

      1. Pay cash as often as possible when you make purchases.
      2. If you must use a card, have a special card for transactions and keep the account balance or credit limit of that very low.

      Regards.

      Reply
  2. SadruddinJuly 17, 2015 at 5:41 PM

    Dear Sir,

    Feeling safe with Quickheal.

    Sadruddin

    Reply
  3. D Siva RaoJuly 17, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    this info is very useful.

    Reply
  4. COLLINS OXFORD OKONKWOJuly 17, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    i want to say that QUICK HEAL is the best antivirus so far. i have used it and am attesting to it. i have been recommending it to people including my colleagues in the office

    Reply
  5. not work anti virus

    Reply
  6. Hi
    POS malware sounds scary
    How do we protect ourselves from POS malware?

    Reply
    • Hi Amit,

      My two suggestions are:

      1. Pay cash as often as possible when you make purchases.
      2. If you must use a card, have a special card for transactions and keep the account balance or credit limit of that very low.

      Regards.

      Reply
  7. S.K.AGRAWALJuly 17, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    VERY USEFUL INFORMATION………………

    Reply
  8. Mahesh A. KhareJuly 17, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    My Comment is related with free android apps given by chetah mobile like battery doctor, Screen lock, subborn trogen killer, antivirus. Are they genuine ? Kindly say something about it. Thanks

    Reply
  9. P.L.SUBRAMANIAMJuly 18, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    I am using your product for the past 2years or so. kindly tell me
    when the product is to be renewed

    Reply
  10. NIKHIL RAJJuly 18, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    I LIKE THIS ANTIVIRUSH………………

    Reply
  11. Rutul BhavsarJuly 18, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    so what is the way to avoid this kind of attack what measures we must take

    Reply
    • Hi Rutul,

      The best thing to do is to try to avoid card payments as much as possible. Try to pay by cash often or use a card which has less balance in it and is used only for shopping purposes.

      Regards.

      Reply
  12. Gurmukh SinghJuly 18, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    I am facing an adware problem. Often when I am browsing a site, a new tab “www.adsmatte.com” opens automatically.It very irritating. It also stops or delays online payments for bill payments and shopping etc. I’m using Quickheal Total Security, then why it is not capable to remove this adware?

    Reply
  13. K.P.SUBRAMANIANJuly 18, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Happy to note about information. Glad to note that Quick heal has ways and means to stop/prevent the same from corrupting the computers.

    Reply
  14. this is good

    Reply
  15. manoj kumarJuly 18, 2015 at 5:58 PM

    good

    Reply
  16. Dinesh BagrechaJuly 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    Excellence a virus

    Reply
  17. Raju KolliJuly 18, 2015 at 7:54 PM

    Very happy to know this. Please renew my product. Already Rs 849/- has been collected from me. Serve better.

    Reply
    • Hi Raju,

      If the payment has been made from your end, the product will be renewed soon. The speed will depend on the channel chosen for renewal. Online renewals will show up immediately but other modes will take longer.

      Regards.

      Reply
  18. k.santhinJuly 19, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    supper I like the quickheal

    Reply
  19. Shashwata DuttaJuly 19, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    If credit card data is being stolen at POS by the Shops and Merchants, it is extremely dangerous to use our Credit/Debit Cards.
    Either they need to be cross verified by finger prints OR the POS merchant needs to declare that they are safe to deal from data security point of view. If the machines are secured by some organisation like Quick Heal and certified, it could be a bit better. And the establishment can also advertise that they are Quick Heal certified.
    It is a new avenue for business of Quick Heal slso.K83

    Reply
  20. Sanjay LodJuly 19, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Thanks Sir And I Am In Troubled With Some My Own Issuing Please Sir Help Me Best .

    Reply
  21. Surjeet KumarJuly 19, 2015 at 10:31 PM

    my pen drive in infected of virus but my quick heal total security in not scanned . why i am expense my purchase quick heal total security please solve my problems as soon as possible. thanks

    Reply
  22. update problem

    Reply
  23. DHRUV JAMWALJuly 20, 2015 at 12:08 AM

    MY LAPTOP IS SHOWING SIGNS OF COMPROMISED SECURITY. MY QUICK HEAL IS NOT GETTING UPDATED.THE ICON IS STAYING ORANGE INSTEAD OF TURNING GREEN IN SPITE OF RUNNING THE UPDATE AND IT IMMEDIATELY SAYING THAT MY SYSTEM IS UPTODATE!!

    Reply
  24. bappa ghoshJuly 20, 2015 at 9:02 AM

    not update

    Reply
  25. nice

    Reply
  26. not getting update inspite of trying again and again.. irritating

    Reply
  27. MERA ANTI VIRUES HAMESA RED HI RAHTA H UPDATE KARNE KE BAAD BHI SOLUTION BATAYE

    Reply
  28. FROM LAST 5 YEARS NOT FORMATTED ANY DESKTOP / LAPTOP DUE TO CORRUPT OR VIRUS ATTACK,

    ALL BIG THANKS TO QUICK HEAL ( OBVIOUSLY!!! TO ME ALSO FOR A GREAT DECISION).

    Reply
  29. TODAY SERVER & LAPTOP SHOWS “PROTECTION OUT OF DATE” BUT AFTER CLICKING UPDATE NOW – SHOWS ” UP TO DATE” .. & AMBER ICON IS SHOWS AS IT IS.

    CUSTOMER CARE LINE IS COMING BUSY FROM LAST 1 AND HALF HOUR……

    PLEASE ARRANGE TO HELP BY E-MAIL OR CALL..

    THANKS

    PRABHU

    Reply
  30. Jogesh PatelJuly 20, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Its may be best working…..

    Reply
  31. subash agarwallaJuly 20, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    MERA ANTI VIRUES HAMESA RED HI RAHTA H UPDATE KARNE KE BAAD BHI SOLUTION BATAYE

    Reply
  32. C R CHITTIBABUJuly 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    My update has stopped after 16/07/2015. In Anti-malware scanning one adware was detected and cleaned. Still update is not done both in auto and manual. Please advice.

    Reply
  33. Fine quick-Heal-Antivirus

    Reply
  34. subhasis pramanikJuly 20, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Quick Jeal Total Security last up date 16 july 2015 but today is not update. Please help Me.

    Reply
  35. PRADYUT KUMAR BHADURYJuly 20, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    please reply–why I am not able to UPDATE

    Reply
  36. Imranul HaqueJuly 20, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    Quick Heal is the best among all which I have felt. I am using it for last 6 years and never any problem arises.

    Reply
  37. I have two Question:
    1. I am using Quick Heal Total Security. I Oftanly Recharge by my Debit Card in Paytm or Freecharge Website. Both Web site are safe for online transaction? and If not then Quick Heal Protect us for this type of attact?

    2. And how to know that this website is protected or not?

    Reply
    • Hi Amish,

      Yes, Quick Heal Total Security protects your from fake and malicious websites. You can know a website it safe or not by checking its URL. A secured website always begins with ‘https’ and has a padlock symbol (green) to it.

      Regards,

      Reply
  38. viral solaniJuly 20, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    I use quick hell anty virous sofware in all pc but last three days virus protection ont update since 3 days.

    MY ALL PC QUICK HEAL IS NOT GETTING UPDATED.THE ICON IS STAYING ORANGE INSTEAD OF TURNING GREEN IN SPITE OF RUNNING THE UPDATE AND IT IMMEDIATELY SAYING THAT MY SYSTEM IS UPTODATE!!

    Reply
  39. Sankar ModakJuly 20, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    My Computer no up-date. please solve my problems as soon as possible. thanks

    Reply
  40. Mr. Jayanti KhemchandaniJuly 20, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Quick Heal shows ‘Protection is out of date’

    On clicking ‘Update Now’ it shows ‘The version of Internet Security you have is up-to-date’

    Virus database 16 July 2015

    RIZE ALPHA ONE MALL
    RIZE – ALPHA ONE MALL
    Product Key: RT0105N16100618AB28A
    License valid till: 10 July 2018
    Installation Number: 8969-2318-8705

    Thanks.

    Mobile: 9825021167

    Reply
  41. The update definition file is corrupt.
    aborting the update process ?

    Reply
  42. Umar AsadkhanJuly 20, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    I am using net banking through chrome browser which is downloaded from play store. I have quick heal mobile anti virus so is that I am safe to continue net banking?

    Reply
  43. update problem was their from past four days.

    Reply
  44. YET ANOTHER CLEANER – YAC GOT LOADED IN MY SYSTEM AND WOULD NOT LET MY BROWSER OPEN UP , I CONTACTED MY ISP AND EVEN THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO LOCATE THE PROBLEM . IT WAS ACCIDENTALLY I DISCOVERED THAT AND THE SYSTEM CORRECTED ON DELETING THE SOFTWARE.
    ALL THIS WITH QUICK HEAL TOTAL SECURITY ON

    Reply
  45. mahendra kumarJuly 21, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    System is secure
    System is being actively protected
    No action required

    Reply
  46. Ravi BhattJuly 24, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    Hey,
    I want to format my computer but my quick heal is license version so when i will format my pc and re-install quick heal and re-type my serial keys whether it will work or not ??

    Reply
  47. i am using quick heal and purchased after reading review on http://www.techaj.com .
    Thanks to quick heal because my pc is safe. total security is best suite. thanks technology assummed

    Reply