Tag Archives: phishing

Bank Hackers Steal Millions ($100M+) via Malware & long campaign – NYTimes.com

A good article was released on the NYT today highlighting an elongated attack into up to 100 banks where methods were learned by attackers, and then exploited. What is interesting here is that the attackers studied the banks own processes and then customized their behaviors accordingly.

It would be difficult to imagine these campaigns to succeed for such a long period as occurred if the malware was detected (which is possible with interval security process studies), and or the bank processes were re-examined by risk officers for activity within the dollar range thresholds. It is typical for data to be slowly “dripped” out of networks to stay below range (hence when signatures are essentially worthless as a preventive/detective tool), and thus similar fraud behavior is needed at the human/software process level.

I look forward to the report to analyze the campaign and share any possible learnings beyond this surface article. Two highlights of the NYT article jump to me, include:

Kaspersky Lab says it has seen evidence of $300 million in theft from clients, and believes the total could be triple that. But that projection is impossible to verify because the thefts were limited to $10 million a transaction, though some banks were hit several times. In many cases the hauls were more modest, presumably to avoid setting off alarms.

The hackers’ success rate was impressive. One Kaspersky client lost $7.3 million through A.T.M. withdrawals alone, the firm says in its report. Another lost $10 million from the exploitation of its accounting system. In some cases, transfers were run through the system operated by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, which banks use to transfer funds across borders. It has long been a target for hackers — and long been monitored by intelligence agencies.

via Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware – NYTimes.com.

The report is planned for release on Feb 16, and I hope there are substantial facts on the campaign.

Thanks for Kaspersky to continue to lead research and providing solutions.




Infrastructure Security Response, Google excludes 11M+ domains

Google officially removed a “freehost” provider from a Korean Company that was providing the .co.cc domain (link to The Register article).  This was done on the basis of a large percentage of spammy or low-quality sites.  According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (report) this top level domain accounted for a large number of mal-ware, phishing, and spam traffic.

This defensive move by Google frames nicely a counter move to what I have termed as ‘Infrastructure level attacks’.  These types of attacks are executed through planned and global programs designed to bypass the fundamental security safeguards organizations deploy.  The popular examples are RSA SecureID Tokens and Comodo certificates.

The challenge has been how to respond equally to such attacks, and here we are seeing an exploration into this response.  The U.S. Government is exploring filters and preventive tools at the ISP level, and here we have a propagator of search results eliminating the possibility of users connecting to such domains – regardless of any possible non-malicious site.

This highlights the need to examine the information security program of your organization and the core providers.  This examination must consider risks that are known and ‘far-fetched ideas’ (such as the domain being blocked at the ISP level) that may impact your business.  Such continuous programs of risk assessment are key, but just as critical is the examination and pivoting of the program itself.  (yes.. a risk assessment of the risk assessment program).

Counter thoughts?

James DeLuccia