There’s a reason cybersecurity is a hot and in-demand industry ? it’s because the level and sophistication of malware and other attacks are growing. A new malware attack is aimed at the smart cards used across the department of defense and for a number of defense contractors and employers. Smart cards are credentials used to grant access to computer systems and secure information.

The new malware attack uses spear phishing to get users to open a PDF file, which then installs malware on the machine. Once installed, it uses a keylogger to obtain the PIN numbers used with smart cards, and later uses those PIN numbers to gain access to secure information.

It’s not the first malware to target smart cards according to Digital Trends, but it is rare in that it seems to explicitly target smart cards. The fact that it only acts when an authorized user is using their smart card credential may also make it more difficult for security systems to detect.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.