I heard that during Christmas a lot of customer data was stolen using malware attack called Ram Scrapers.

What exactly is a Ram Scraper?
How would one infect a machine with it?
What information can you take with a Ram Scraper?
How to detect if you have Ram Scraper installed?
And how to protect yourself against Ram Scrapers?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. But I am very curious about it since it seems to have affected a huge amount of stores.

Thanks to anyone for their help and explanation.


1 Answer 1


RAM Scrapers are a type of Malware which work by searching through a device's RAM, looking for confidential data (such as credit card numbers).

The malware can infect POS card terminals as well as ATMs, Computers, Mobile Phones... The method of infection is usually the same as for most other types of malware, but most commonly through users infecting the host machine (Windows) with the infectious agent which then jumps to the terminal when it is initialized.

Detection is not easy, especially if the device is dumb (PoS terminal). For most at risk businesses, the most likely detection will be through antivirus programs running on the machine connected to PoS terminals, and by analyzing outgoing web traffic.

As a credit card user, there is little you can do except, perhaps, to limit the exposure by using pre-paid credit cards when making payments in a bricks and mortar store.


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