How to Protect Your eCommerce Site Against Web Skimming?

In an era where eCommerce has become an integral part of our lives. Ensuring the security of online shopping platforms has never been more crucial.

Web skimming is a prevalent threat to eCommerce sites. It’s also known as digital card skimming or Magecart attacks. It is an insidious threat that can compromise the security of online businesses.

This article delves into the world of web skimming. It discusses what it is and how these attacks happen. It also covers who can become victims. It discusses strategies to identify threats. Most importantly, this explanation focuses on protecting your eCommerce site. It delves into the measures needed to safeguard it. Specifically, it addresses the threat of web skimming attacks.

What is Web Skimming?

Web skimming, at its core, is a malicious practice. Cybercriminals infiltrate an eCommerce website. They do this to steal sensitive customer information. This includes credit card details, personal data, and login credentials.

These attackers implant malicious code into the website’s payment processing pages. They may also target third-party plugins for their malicious activities. This code captures and transmits the stolen data to the hackers’ servers.

Web skimming attacks often occur stealthily. This makes it challenging for site owners and users to detect them until it’s too late. The attackers exploit vulnerabilities in the website’s security. This ultimately compromises the trust between customers and the business.

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How Web Skimming Attacks Happen on an eCommerce Site?

Understanding how web skimming attacks unfold is the first step. Fortifying your eCommerce site against this threat is crucial. These attacks can happen through various techniques. However, they typically follow a few common steps:

1) Vulnerability Scanning:

Cybercriminals employ automated tools to scan websites for vulnerabilities in their code. They also target third-party plugins or other entry points. Once a weak spot is identified, they move on to the next step.

2) Code Injection:

The attackers inject malicious JavaScript code into the targeted website’s codebase. They do this directly into the payment processing pages. They inject it into third-party plugins used on the site. This code is designed to intercept user data entered during the checkout process.

3) Data Capture:

The malicious code captures sensitive information. This includes credit card numbers, CVV codes, and personal details. Customers submit information during the checkout process. After capturing the data, it is transmitted to the attacker’s servers. This effectively exfiltrates it from the compromised site.

4) Exfiltration:

The stolen data is sent to servers controlled by the attackers. It is collected and stored for illicit purposes. These purposes may include selling on the dark web or fraudulent transactions.

Who Can Become a Victim of Web Skimming Attacks?

Web skimming attacks are indiscriminate. They affect businesses of all sizes. This includes small startups and multinational corporations. Any eCommerce website that handles customer payments is a potential target.

Some notable victims of web skimming attacks include British Airways. British Airways suffered a significant breach. Ticketmaster is another victim. Ticketmaster also experienced a substantial breach. Newegg is on the list too. Newegg suffered a significant breach as well.

Individual customers are at risk. They make online purchases. Through these compromised sites. Their personal information can be exploited for unauthorized transactions. This can lead to identity theft. It can also result in other malicious activities.

How Can You Identify Threats Before They Cause Damage?

Detecting web skimming attacks early is crucial to minimize damage. Here are some strategies. They can help you identify threats. This is before they lead to substantial losses:

1) Regular Security Audits:

Conduct periodic security audits of your eCommerce site. These audits aim to identify vulnerabilities that attackers might exploit. It’s crucial to stay vigilant and proactive in protecting your online business. Use automated scanning tools and employ cybersecurity experts to ensure comprehensive coverage.

2) Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):

Implement intrusion detection systems on your website. These systems are designed to alert you. They can detect unusual activities on your website. Look for anomalies in traffic patterns, unauthorized access attempts, and code changes.

3) Web Application Firewalls (WAF):

Utilize web application firewalls. They can filter out malicious traffic. This helps protect your website from various attacks, including web skimming.

4) Monitoring and Anomaly Detection:

Continuously monitor your website’s traffic to ensure it aligns with typical user behavior. Analyze transaction patterns and observe the volume of data transferred. Also, scrutinize code changes for any signs of suspicious activity.

5) Customer Feedback:

Encourage customers to report any unusual experiences on your eCommerce site. Their feedback can be invaluable in identifying security threats. Make it easy for them to share their concerns and experiences.

How to Prevent Digital Skimming Attacks?

Preventing web skimming attacks requires a multi-pronged approach. This approach combines technology, best practices, and user education. There are effective strategies available. They can protect your eCommerce site. These strategies guard against digital skimming attacks.

1) Keep Software Updated:

Regularly update your website’s content management system, plugins, and all third-party components. Many web skimming attacks occur due to outdated and vulnerable software.

2) Isolate Payment Processing:

You should isolate the payment processing function on your website. It needs to be separate from other site components. This separation enhances security and streamlines the payment process. This reduces the attack surface for cybercriminals.

3) Implement HTTPS:

Use secure, encrypted connections with HTTPS to protect the data in transit. SSL/TLS certificates are essential for encrypting communication between your website and users.

4) Tokenization and Encryption:

Implement data tokenization and encryption to secure sensitive customer information. These techniques ensure that even if attackers access the data, it remains unintelligible.

5) Security Headers:

Utilize security headers such as Content Security Policy (CSP). Use X-Content-Type-Options to restrict untrusted script execution. Employ these measures to prevent content sniffing.

6) Regular Security Training:

Train your employees to stay updated on the latest security threats. Educate them about best practices in cybersecurity. Remember that human error often serves as a common entry point for attackers.

7) Third-Party Vetting:

Carefully vet third-party plugins and services used on your website. Ensure that they have robust security measures in place and update them regularly.

8) Incident Response Plan:

Develop an incident response plan that outlines what to do in case of a security breach. A timely response can minimize the impact of an attack.


Web skimming attacks are a significant threat. These attacks are ever-present in eCommerce websites. They endanger both the websites and their customers. These attacks compromise sensitive data. They erode customer trust. This can lead to significant financial and reputational damage.

Preventing web skimming attacks requires vigilance. It also demands proactive measures. In addition, a commitment to cybersecurity best practices is essential. Understanding how web skimming attacks occur is crucial. eCommerce site owners can benefit from this knowledge. It provides valuable insights for protecting their platforms. They can also learn who can become victims of such attacks.

Additionally, they can understand how to identify threats effectively. Finally, businesses can implement preventive measures. These measures help protect their businesses. They also safeguard their customers. The road to securing your online store may be challenging. However, the safety of your customers is well worth the effort. Building trust is a crucial aspect of your online business.

Stay informed about the latest developments. Stay proactive in your approach. Keep web skimmers at bay to protect your eCommerce empire.