Wave of cyber attacks to target US banks: researcher

US Bank, PNC Bank, and Wells Fargo have all experienced problems related to cyber attacks
As many as 30 US banking firms are expected to be targeted in a wave of cyber attacks as part of "a large-scale orchestrated crimeware campaign," a security researcher says.

As many as 30 US banking firms are expected to be targeted in a wave of cyber attacks as part of "a large-scale orchestrated crimeware campaign," a security researcher says.

Mor Ahuvia of the RSA said in a blog post this week that a "cyber gang" has communicated plans to launch a Trojan attack spree involving "bots" or automated control of infected computers.

"Planned for this fall, the blitzkrieg-like series of Trojan is set to be carried out by approximately 100 botmasters," he wrote. "RSA believes this is the making of the most substantial organized banking-Trojan operation seen to date."

Ahuvia said the attackers plan to use malware called "Gozi Prinimalka," which is a term derived from the Russian word meaning "to receive."

"According to underground chatter, the gang plans to deploy the Trojan in an effort to complete fraudulent wire transfers via Man-In-The-Middle manual session-hijacking scenarios," he said.

RSA said the gang claims that since 2008 their Trojan has been able to siphon $5 million from American bank accounts.

The new attacks, if successfully launched, may be felt by targeted banks in a month or two, RSA said.

"The spree's longevity, in turn, will depend on how fast banks and their security teams implement countermeasures against the heretofore-secret banking-Trojan," Ahuvia said.

The warning comes after several US banks appeared to be targeted by so-called , which aim to bring down websites by flooding the networks with data requests.

US Bank acknowledged last week its website was the target of "attacks" aimed at disrupting its system but that and financial information were not compromised.

PNC Bank, Wells Fargo and others experienced problems as well.

The problems arose after a group calling itself "Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam" announced that three banks would be targeted for the second week of "Operation Ababil."

The "cyber fighters" group said it launched attacks under the name "Operation Ababil," meaning "Swarm," against the websites of Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange on September 18, and Chase on September 19.

Explore further

Wells Fargo website down in wake of threat

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: Wave of cyber attacks to target US banks: researcher (2012, October 5) retrieved 20 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-cyber-banks.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Oct 05, 2012
Thanks for the warning.
Glad I don't keep my money in banks anymore.
I used to keep money in the bank so it wouldn't get stolen.
Now, banks seem to think they can just hand your money out to anyone. And, just try to get a bank to reverse a wrong... unless, of course, the adjustment is in THEIR favor... The famous clause reads that if YOU walk away from the window, all transactions are considered final... even if you can prove they're wrong. I lost a half a month's income to a teller who jiggled the deposit slip to make it disappear. When confronted, the bank manager said, "Once you walk away from the window, there's nothing we can do." I've often wondered how much of that money she had to share with him, to keep her job... I'll bet the bank manager got some that night... and, if he played it right, many times after. I can only hope he keeps her bow-legged and sore for a long time. I'd like to think my money went to a good cause.

Oct 06, 2012
If you saw how much they cheap out on the ATM systems ud know why this is so stupid. The last ATM i serviced had windows xp, pentium3 400mhz and 128mb ram. They just plug the damn things into the internet and just hope they will be ok. If they used up to date systems with multiple encryption layers and silly long encryption cyphers they'd have loads more protection. But then that would eat into profits..... well I guess as they start losing money they will be forced to change eventually... if not then they are uber stupid.

Oct 06, 2012
Oh, oh. I'd better put my money under the cyber mattress.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more