Banks in South Africa have been hit with the biggest ever payment card fraud, which lead to loss of millions of dollars during the year, according to the country's financial transactions unit.
The Payment Association of South Africa (PASA) revealed that hackers have compromised payment card systems of thousands of shops, restaurants and hotels and obtained card details of their customers.
Hackers have reportedly used a new version of the Dexter malware to attack servers and pinch information which was subsequently utilised to clone payment cards.
Dexter was also linked to a series of attacks on point-of-sale systems in the UK, US and several others during late 2012.
PASA chief executive Walter Volker was cited by BBC as saying it's probably the worst attack of its kind in terms of the losses.
"We started detecting higher levels of fraud at some of these retailers early in the year - from about late-January, February," Volker said.
"We initially thought it was a normal seasonal thing, but as the volumes increased we decided to appoint a forensics investigation company.
"Eventually it was able to find this particular malware in some of the locations.
"Very soon after we found the cause of the compromise, we were able to clean up those sites with anti-malware software.
"It seems like it was a European-based syndicate - we don't exactly where - but Interpol and Europol are making good progress in trying to apprehend these particular perpetrators."
Hackers stole data only from magnetic strip cards, while none of the chip cards, PINs and the CVV numbers were affected.