Bitdefender Investigates Advanced Cyberattacks on Financial Institutions, Warns That Hackers Target Eastern European and Russian Banks

Bitdefender Investigates Advanced Cyberattacks on Financial Institutions, Warns That Hackers Target Eastern European and Russian Banks

by Business Insights , on 20.08.2018

Bitdefender has recently investigated a series of advanced cyberattacks aimed at financial institutions, designed to covertly exfiltrate massive amounts of money in coordinated strikes. During the investigation, Bitdefender researchers found the presence Cobalt Strike components - usually associated with the Carbanak cybercriminal group that targeted more than 100 financial institutions in over 40 countries since 2013, responsible for cumulative financial losses estimated at over 1 billion Euros. ’’The investigated attacks occurred via spear phishing campaigns sent to Several Eastern European and Russian banks, usually during the first part of the week - Monday to Wednesday’’, Bitdefender’s Senior Cybersecurity Analyst, Liviu Arsene explains. Starting March 2018, the spearphishing campaign impersonated security or financial institutions in order to trick bank employees into clicking malicious URLs and downloading malware-riddled payloads. After establishing a foothold on the targeted machine, attackers would then escalate their privileges or look for admin users to compromise, in order to move laterally across the infrastructure. Because of the surgical nature of the attacks, as only a small number of machines were compromised in order to remain undetected for as long as possible, the main targets were mostly employees with high privileges or access within the infrastructure. To avoid detection, the cybercriminal organization employed the use of fileless attack techniques, such as PowerShell scripts or Cobalt Strike payloads, as well as legitimate free tools that were mostly used for remotely connecting to the victim’s system. To limit the risk of being discovered, attackers operated outside normal business hours and cashout operations were planned for weekends. However, the FBI’s recent warning - that seems to be generated by the attack against indian bank Cosmos - that a wave of cyberattacks could be targeting financial institutions, corroborates Bitdefender’s recent findings, placing Eastern European and Russian banks on high alert. Although it is too early to determine if the 13.4 million dollars breach at Cosmos financial institution is related to the attacks in Eastern Europe and Russia, the current Bitdefender investigation could be related to the same global scale attack that the FBI warned of. The preferred modus operandi during the final phase for these cashout operations involves remotely instructing ATMs to dispense cash at a predetermined time while the money is immediately collected by members of the crime group, transferring money from the organization’s bank accounts in the criminal accounts, or manipulating databases with account information while money mules collected the money. read more

Chinese company exposes data of 50.5 million users, mostly children

Chinese company exposes data of 50.5 million users, mostly children

by Luana PASCU, from HotForSecurity , on 20.08.2018

The Chinese global mobile app and mobile platform development firm, Sungy Mobile, aka GOMO, may have leaked the data of over 50.5 million customers, mostly of which are children. An open port allowed independent researcher going by the pseudonym “Flash Gordon” to infiltrate the database through vulnerable IP addresses that had no login credentials.  The [and#8230;] read more

NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act passed into law

NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act passed into law

by Luana PASCU, from HotForSecurity , on 20.08.2018

US president Donald Trump signed the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act last week, a law that will help small businesses with resources to fend off cyberattacks, as part of a comprehensive governmental strategy to improve cybersecurity. The act was written by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and James Risch (R-Idaho), and supported by John Thune [and#8230;] read more

Pulling WiFi Passwords from Thin Air Makes Hacking Easier

Pulling WiFi Passwords from Thin Air Makes Hacking Easier

by Ionut ILASCU, from IoT Security Insights , on 20.08.2018

The importance of setting a strong password to protect access to connected devices is highlighted once more by new research in the field of capturing login keys for WiFi access points. The latest technique improves on previous methods, requiring less time and effort to capture the data; it also yields more reliable results. Attackers after ... The post Pulling WiFi Passwords from Thin Air Makes Hacking Easier appeared first on Bitdefender. read more

Gartner: Cloud-Smitten Companies Facing “Unpredictable” Cybersecurity Threats

Gartner: Cloud-Smitten Companies Facing “Unpredictable” Cybersecurity Threats

by Filip Truta, from Business Insights , on 20.08.2018

Cloud computing enables the much-needed speed and agility demanded in our digital economy era. Embracing the cloud can generate significant cost savings as well as new revenue streams. However, the cloud-first mindset may be sending digital businesses down a dangerous path. read more

Apple hacked by 16-year-old who “dreamed” of working for firm

Apple hacked by 16-year-old who “dreamed” of working for firm

by Graham CLULEY, from HotForSecurity , on 17.08.2018

An Australian teenager has admitted hacking into Appleand#8217;s internal network and stealing 90 GB worth of files. The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to breaking into Appleand#8217;s systems on multiple occasions over the course of a year, from his parentand#8217;s home in Melbourneand#8217;s suburbs. According to a report in [and#8230;] read more

Companies to Spend $124 Billion in 2019 on Cybersecurity, Gartner Says

Companies to Spend $124 Billion in 2019 on Cybersecurity, Gartner Says

by Razvan Muresan, from Business Insights , on 17.08.2018

Total spending on information security products and services will reach more than $114 billion globally in 2018, an increase of 12.4% from last year, according to advisory company Gartner. read more

Florida man arrested as cops bring down SIM swap scam ring

Florida man arrested as cops bring down SIM swap scam ring

by Luana PASCU, from HotForSecurity , on 16.08.2018

A cyber fraud ring operating across multiple states was detected by US law enforcement in February 2018, after the mother of one of the perpetrators overheard him masquerading as an ATand#38;T employee in a phone conversation. The woman called the police and officers found a number of cell phones and SIM cards, as well as [and#8230;] read more

Middle Eastern energy sector at risk, top target of Iranian hackers

Middle Eastern energy sector at risk, top target of Iranian hackers

by Luana PASCU, from HotForSecurity , on 16.08.2018

Iranian hackers might be the next criminal group to be worried about, after the country has joined the ranks of Russia, North Korea, the US and African countries when it comes to cyberespionage operations. Research carried out by Accenture Security iDefense states that Iran has surfaced as a major security threat. “The Iranian government and [and#8230;] read more

The Underrated Importance of Training Your Staff to Spot Devious Phishing Attacks

The Underrated Importance of Training Your Staff to Spot Devious Phishing Attacks

by Filip Truta, from Business Insights , on 16.08.2018

A new phishing campaign is making the rounds. Scammers are taking advantage of a small, but serious oversight in Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of online services to serve phishing emails that are visually indistinguishable from work-related emails and appear completely safe. This new threat once again highlights the importance of training your first line of defense to deal with cyber threats, as part of your organization’s cybersecurity strategy. read more

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