Cyber-Thieves Using Persistent Bot to Steal Gift Card Balances

Today’s topics include, an automated bot used to steal retail gift card balances, Google’s allegations that Symantec has failed to properly validate issued certificates, Google’s plan to remove SMS texting from Hangouts and Dell Boomi’s acquisition of ManyWho.

Security vendor Distil Networks announced on March 24 that it discovered an automated bot used to steal retail gift card balances. Called GiftGhostBot, it has attacked about 1,000 customer websites, according to Distil Networks, although the actual number could be much higher.

The total financial impact from the GiftGhostBot attack isn't known yet either. GiftGhostBot has an automated scanning capability that tests potential gift card account numbers, requesting a balance from the retailer. The cyber-criminals behind GiftGhostBot then attempt to resell the gift card account and its unused balance.

Some Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security certificates issued by Symantec inside of the Chrome web browser may not be safe, according to Google, and so it is threatening to remove trust in Symantec-issued SSL/TLS certificates.

For its part, Symantec argues that Google's claims that it has failed to properly validate issued certificates are "irresponsible" and misleading. Google's initial investigation covered 127 certificates that may have been issued improperly.

However, the list has grown to at least 30,000 certificates. In October 2015, Google also publicly admonished Symantec over certificate issuance practices.

Google Hangouts will soon lose its SMS functionality. Google said it is removing carrier SMS texting as part of a broader effort to make Hangouts and Gmail more streamlined and useful for enterprises.

This follows the company’s recent addition of a new Hangouts Meet video collaboration capability and a Hangout Chat feature with updated support for group chat and collaboration. Administrators of enterprises affected by the move will soon receive notice of the impending change and will need to find a replacement for it.

Integrator Dell Boomi has acquired workflow automation specialist ManyWho. Workflow automation is an important requirement for businesses and organizations pursuing digital transformation and IT modernization.

Boomi was acquired by Dell in 2010, and it has proven to be a successful acquisition. Last week, Boomi expanded its influence by acquiring ManyWho to fill an important gap in Boomi's service lineup.

ManyWho, founded in 2013, will augment Boomi's application and data integration tools with a unified cloud and low-code development platform for building and deploying workflow applications.