© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Hackers Hit US, Global Banks, Steal Over $300 Million
In what is being referred to as one of the largest bank heists ever, hackers have hit banks in the United States, Russia, Japan, and Europe with a massive and sophisticated malware attack, stealing upwards of $300 million dollars in the process, the New York Times has reported.
According to a Kaspersky Labs- an online/cyber security company- report, over 100 banks in 30 nations have fallen victim to the hackers and at least $300 million has been stolen.
Although none of the affected banks has come forward to publicly acknowledge being a victim of the hack, experts say the attack is of unprecedented proportions.
Commenting on the incident, Chris Doggett, manager of Kaspersky’s North American office in Boston said: “This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert,”
Kapsersky experts also opine that the hackers had to have exercised great patience in the execution of their plan because pulling off an attack of such scale demanded time.
According to the cyber security firm, the criminals had to infect bank computers and remotely install surveillance software to observe everyday behaviour in order to steal as much as $10 million from some of their victims.
Observing everyday behavior reportedly aided the hackers to successfully mimic employee actions, so that large transactions could be made to look like business as usual.
The stolen funds were then siphoned off into dummy accounts which had been prepared in advance. A Kaspersky client is reported to have lost as much as $7.3 million from ATM transactions.
New York Times reports that the majority of the affected banks are located in Russia, but the hack is of almost global proportions and apparently on-going.
Banks have remained silent on the issue till date but the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center states that the industry has been alerted to the breach.
The banks’ muted reaction is apparently to forestall panic in the industry.