The botnet has been stealing millions from retailers, consumers and retailers across the United States, and even the U.K., according to a report from cyber security company CordaWeb.
A new report by the cybersecurity firm shows that the botnet was active in at least one major retail market as recently as March 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.
CordaWeb CEO James Bittner says the bot network is stealing money from more than 100,000 merchants across the country, including many large retailers, including Walmart, Sears, Gap, Target and Macy’s.
Cords botnet had already taken over credit card processing at the same point in time, Bittners report said.
Bittners research also found that the network also gained access to the credit card networks of hundreds of thousands of merchants across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and had been active since early 2016.
Cordes botnet stole at least $1.6 billion in cash from consumers and $2.7 billion from retailers in 2017 alone, according the report.
The botnet took over $2 million from more of these merchants in 2017, including a Walmart store in Georgia that was targeted by the bot.
The bots account for about 10 percent of the total botnet revenue.
“We have been monitoring the bot activity over time, and we know that it’s growing.
We are not seeing it slowing down, it’s continuing to grow,” Bitters said in an interview with The Wall St. Journal.
“We have not seen any slowing down in the activity, but we are aware that it is growing.”
The botnets growing activity in 2017 could be connected to the ongoing legal fight between Visa and MasterCard over the breach of credit card data in 2016.
In March, MasterCard filed a lawsuit against Visa, claiming that it had not done enough to stop the breach, which compromised the cardholder information of more than 400 million cardholders.
Bettners report also noted that the total amount stolen from merchants in the United State last year was higher than the total from any other year.
The botnets account for more than $3.5 billion in revenue, and are said to be making millions of unauthorized payments.
According to The WSJ report, many of the botnets activity can be traced back to a single botnet called the “Cyber-Oriented Group.”
The group was set up in August 2017 by the hacker group Anonymous, according a recent statement.
Anonymous was a member of the hacking collective group Anonymous called “hacktivists,” and also a member or a sympathizer of several other hacker groups including Lizard Squad and Steganography Team.
Anonymous’ actions have also inspired other cybercriminals to use the group as a springboard for their own activities, according Toobin.