Menu
Second group of hackers found also targeting SWIFT users

Second group of hackers found also targeting SWIFT users

Symantec guesses that hackers have hit about 100 organizations

A second hacking group is also trying to rob banks by exploiting the SWIFT money transfer system, following a US$81 million heist in February that used a similar approach.

The cyberattacks have been going on since January and have been targeting companies in the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia, and other countries, according to a Tuesday report from security firm Symantec.

A "rough guess" is that about 100 organizations have been hit so far, based on the 74 individual computer infections detected, the security firm added.

As part of their attacks, the hackers used malware to cover up records of fraudulent transactions made over SWIFT, preventing their victims from learning about the money theft.

Symantec said this approach bears a resemblance to the February heist at a Bangladesh bank that also involved hackers hiding evidence of their attack by tampering with the SWIFT system.

Some security experts have blamed the Bangladesh heist on the Lazarus Group, which has been linked to the North Korean government and the infamous 2014 hack of Sony pictures. However, Symantec said the malware used in these newly uncovered attacks probably belong to a separate cybercriminal gang known as Carbanak, which is believed to have stolen over $1 billion from dozens of countries by facilitating large wire transfers.  

"This new wave of attacks has also used some infrastructure that has previously been used in Carbanak campaigns," Symantec said. This includes the use of IP addresses found in previous Carbanak-related attacks.

To target their victims, the hackers distributed Microsoft Word documents and RAR archives -- likely through email phishing -- that can secretly install a Trojan onto a target computer. That Trojan can then load other hacking tools built to recover passwords and execute programs.

The hackers were targeting financial organizations in the banking, securities, trading, and payroll sectors, but they also attacked a small number groups related to the government, healthcare, and legal industries. 

"Although difficult to perform, these kinds of attacks on banks can be highly lucrative," Symantec said. "Estimates of total losses to Carbanak-linked attacks range from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars."

On Tuesday, SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, said it's aware of the details in Symantec's report. In August, it warned customers about ongoing attacks and has been publishing details on how to prevent them.  

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments